How to Scare a Text Scammer

March 8, 2024
David Sunnyside

A woman has found a very smart way to see off a pesky text scammer. Shaina Gimao took to Twitter to share screenshots of her clever exchange with the scammer, which involved feigning cooperation and playing around with their requests to verify personal information.

According to Vice, scammers can make a fortune from phishing for your personal information via SMS, and it's easy to fall victim. Scammers can use your personal details to steal your money, open new accounts in your name, or even install malware on your phone. If you have ever received a text message that looked like a family crisis, a fraudulent refund request, or a random prize, you should delete the text and report the number to your carrier.

Often, scammers will attempt to gain your information by impersonating retailers or banks and asking for confirmation of unauthorized charges. The latest FTC data spotlight reports that text scams that impersonate banks are on the rise — people have reported losing thousands in one instance alone. The most common message looks like a fraud alert from your bank, and asks you to call a fake number or reply "yes or no" to verify a large purchase (that you didn't make).

If you respond to these messages, the scammers will be able to confirm that your number is active, then send more targeted texts, including ones designed to install malware on your phone or phish for your information. Rather than responding, you can simply block the number, and notify your carrier of the issue. You can also use a filter to block messages from unknown numbers, and limit your opt-in to specific company sites.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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