By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
In an age of advanced technology and widespread connectivity, text message scams, including in big cities, have become a big problem for people nationwide.
As these deceptive practices continue to grow, authorities have cautioned that it is vital for people to be aware, watchful, and cautious to protect their personal information.
From 2015 to 2022, the number of reports about possible text scams rose by 500%, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Also, officials said that more than 475 million robo-texts are sent every day, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Americans had lost more than $231 million to text message scams in the first three quarters of 2022.
Officials say that there are several reasons why text message scams are so common.
One of them is that scammers can work on digital platforms without being caught, which makes it easier for them to start large-scale fraud campaigns.
Also, the fast-paced nature of city life can make people more likely to make quick decisions, which makes them more likely to fall for these scams.
Authorities warned that people should take specific steps to avoid falling for text message scams.
The FTC said that scams often promise to get you to click on links.
This could include offering gift cards, coupons, or a non-interest credit card.
A scammer may also say they have information about you or may trick you by claiming suspicious activity on your account, sending a false bill, or falsely informing you that your package has arrived.
Here are some crucial things to do to reduce the risk:
Check the source out: Be careful when you get unwanted text messages, especially ones that ask for personal or financial information. Always check the sender’s name before responding or giving out any private information.
Don’t click on strange links: Don’t click on links in text messages, especially if they come from sources you don’t know or look sketchy. These links can lead to harmful websites or cause the download of dangerous software.
Educate yourself: Keep up with the latest text message scams and hackers’ most common tricks. Get to know how they do things so you can better spot and avoid possible dangers.
Beware of urgency and pressure. Scammers often make victims feel they must move quickly or use high-pressure tactics to get what they want.
Be careful about messages that tell you to do something right away or offer deals that seem too good to be true.
Enable two-factor authentication: Use two-factor authentication whenever you can to give your online accounts an extra layer of security.
Photo by Polina Zimmerman