Scam emails and texts are circulating again.
PLEASE be advised: DO NOT respond to any emails or text messages from Fr. Bill requesting money or gift cards, these are scams. Fr. Bill will NOT send you a request for money by these methods.
The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker program added 47,567 separate text scams to its scam tracking program in 2019. Here’s how to identify a spam text to protect yourself, your friends and your family.:
4 ways to identify scam text messages
Smishing, phishing that occurs over SMS, is often easy to spot when you know what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to weed out spam and text scams from your message inbox, these are the common warning signs that can tip you off.
How to report spam text messages
If you’ve received a spam text message that claims to be from a certain company or brand, such as the Walmart text scam, you should contact the customer service or dedicated abuse email or phone number at that company to report the spam.
In addition to that, many carriers allow you to report spam text messages by forward the message to 7726 — this spells out SPAM on most phones. Verify with your carrier that this feature is supported with them.
If you are the victim of fraud, file a report with your local law enforcement agency. You can also report fraud to the FTC.
How to stop spam text messages
If you’ve been on the receiving end of text spam before it’s only natural to wonder how to block spam text messages. There are a couple of different strategies when it comes to how to stop text spam. Here’s what you can do.
Do not respond. If the message is clearly from a scammer, don’t reply to them at all. This just confirms that your number is active.
Reply STOP. If you’re dealing with a company, and not a scammer, you might take a different approach. If the spam text messages are from a legitimate company that isn’t doing anything wrong, per se, but they’re just annoying you with too many offers or SMS messages, just reply STOP to opt out. This should get you off of their text message list.
Block numbers. Yes, spammers and scammers can and do create new spams with different short codes. However, blocking numbers you know are definitely linked to a scammer can buy you some reprieve in the short term.
Report. If you’re wondering how to stop spam text messages once and for all, one of the best ways to stamp them out is to report scammers or spammers to the appropriate authorities. Also, report the scam to your carrier. They can use the information to figure out how to stop spam text messages at the source.
If you’re looking to avoid future text spam and scams, try installing an app like Truecaller or RoboKiller. These apps work to filter out spam texts, not to mention unwanted calls from telemarketers.
I think I sent my information to a scammer. Now what?
If you received a message that you now recognize as part of a scam, you still have options. If you’ve given your information, consider the following tactics to regain financial security and peace of mind.
If you’ve given card information, cancel those cards with your bank. This makes the information you’ve given out unusable to scammers. If you’ve given out personal banking information such as your account numbers, contact your bank immediately to begin the appropriate spam protocol.
Report the fraud to your phone service provider, as they may have had other customers with the same experience. Informing your cell carrier will allow them to take action if they see their clients experiencing similar spam texts, or texts from the same number.
Update your passwords! It never hurts to reset your online banking passwords, or any stored passwords you use online for that matter. Doing so will make the process of hacking your account more difficult. You should have a unique password for every account and not one standard password you use across the internet.
Take action and block the number sending you spam text.