Text message spam is just like getting email spam on your personal computer. Both might try to convince you to give out your personal information which is why it is important to report scam text messages.
Text message spam threatens you in three ways: it can slow down your cell phone performance, it can lead to unwanted cell phone charges on your bill and, frequently, guarantees free products or gift offers to convince you to give out your personal information.
- Slows down the performance of your cell phone by using up space in your phone’s memory
- Leads to unwanted charges to your cell phone bill. Your wireless carrier might charge you just for simply getting a text message whether you wanted it or not.
- Frequently uses a guarantee of free gifts such as gift cards and computers or product offers such as credit cards, cheap mortgages or debt relief services to convince you to give out your personal information (i.e. Social Security Number, credit card number, bank account information, how much money you owe or how much you make.) Clicking a link in a text message can also install malware that will collect information on your phone. Once the scammer has you personal information, they then sell it to marketers or, even more scary, to identity thieves
It is illegal to send to wireless devices any unwanted commercial email messages, which include both pagers and cell phones, unless the receiver first grants them permission. Also, it is illegal to send unwanted text messages via an auto-dialer (equipment that contains phone numbers and then dials them using a sequential or random number generator.
Here are the legal exceptions:
- Messages that are not commercial including fund-raising messages or political surveys.
- Relationship or transactional messages. If you have a relationship with a business, it is permitted to send you things like warranty information or statements.
Sack The Spam
Here are some tips to help put a stop to spam text messages:
- Delete text messages that want you to provide or confirm your personal information. Authentic companies do not request information such as passwords or account numbers by text or email.
- Do not answer them and do not click on the links they provide in the message. Links might install malware onto your phone and guide you over to bogus sites that look genuine but whose sole purpose is to swipe your information.
- Consider your personal information like cash. Your bank and utility account numbers, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers might be used to create new accounts in your name and take your money. Do not give them over in reply to a text.
- Register your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- If you are a Bell, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T subscriber, you may report spam texts messages to your carrier by copying the initial message and then forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM). It’s free of charge.
- Audit your cell phone bill for any illegitimate charges, and report it to your carrier.
Register A Complaint
If you receive undesirable commercial text messages register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They also take complaints about undesirable text messages.
For further information, check out this video below:
It’s so important to report scam text messages to try and shut these scammers down. Have you ever been a victim of a text message scam? Please leave your comments below.
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