Text scams are a popular way for cybercriminals to steal your personal information, money or credit card details. Knowing how to scare a text scammer can help you stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and keep your personal information safe.
The first step is to identify a spam text message. These texts often contain suspicious links that can download malware on your device, which hackers can use to spy on you or hack into your phone. Oftentimes, scammers will also accompany the spam text with a call, pretending to be a customer service representative and asking you to verify sensitive information like passwords or two-factor authentication (2FA) codes.
In addition, if you receive a text message from a number that is 11 digits long or contains an unusual name or spelling, this can be a sign of a spam text scam. Legitimate businesses are required to use a six-digit short code or 10-digit commercial long code. However, scammers can also use toll free numbers or local numbers.
Some scams try to get you to divulge sensitive information by saying your accounts are at risk or that someone has a family emergency. Other spam texts may ask you to send money or gift cards. If you believe a family member is in trouble, reach out to them directly instead of responding to a text message. In addition, never click on a link in a spam text message. Doing so will notify scammers that your phone is active, which can prompt them to send you more unwanted messages and calls.