Scammers are trying a new way to get you to click on a link in a text message the send you and some people may find it alarming. That’s because the text is coming from your own phone number.
“It’s the same tired old scheme where they offer a gift, thank you for paying a bill, or even say you’re late on a payment,” the FBI’s Portland Field Office said in a an alert Tuesday. “They simply want you to click on their link and they’ve got you on the hook.”
The FBI said clicking the link could expose you to malware, scams or it may add your phone number to lists that are sold to other scammers.
The best defense is to simply ignore the text, the FBI said.
If you don’t want to keep getting those messages, the Federal Trade Commission has these tips.
- Your phone may have an option to filter and block spam or messages from unknown senders. Here’s how to filter and block messages on an iPhone and how to block a phone number on an Android phone. And when you block numbers, it helps other callers, too, the FBI said. That’s because carriers use that information to flag spam numbers for everyone.
- Your wireless provider may have a tool or service that lets you block calls and text messages. Check out ctia.org, a website from the wireless industry, to learn about options from different providers.
- Some call-blocking apps also let you block unwanted text messages. Go to ctia.org for a list of call-blocking apps for Android, BlackBerry, Apple, and Windows phones. You can also search for apps online. Check out the features, user ratings, and expert reviews.
Unwanted text messages can also be reported to the FTC. The FBI says to copy the message and forward it to 7726 (which spells SPAM) on your phone.
Anyone who has been an online scam victim is urged to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov