BBB warning consumers of new COVID-19 text messaging scams

Digital Originals
BBB gives advice on avoiding scams during the holidays_63610488

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia is informing consumers of new phishing scams coming by way of a text message.

The scam works like this.

Short Message Service (SMS) phishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver bait enticing recipients into disclosing personal information. These attacks, known as smishing, typically invite the user to click a link, call a number or contact an email address provided by the attacker via the text message.

The victim is then invited to submit their private data or credentials to other websites or services.

Because of the nature of mobile browsers, the full URL may not be completely visible, making it more challenging to safely identify whether or not the link is legitimate.

So, the BBB has released the following tips, which involve filtering and/or blocking test messages from unknown senders to help avoid falling victim to one of these scams.

  • ON YOUR PHONE: To find out how to filter and block, click the link for your phone’s operating system: iPhone or Android.
  • THROUGH YOUR WIRELESS PROVIDER: Most providers have a tool or service that lets you block calls and/or text messages. Click here for those instructions.
  • CALL-BLOCKING APP: There are several apps you can download that will assist in blocking unwanted text messages. Click the link for your phone’s operating system to be taken to the respective app store. iPhone or Android.

If you fall victim to a text messaging scam, here’s what you can do.

  • Contact your banking institutions to report fraud and cancel credit cards used for all transactions connected to the mobile device
  • Inform your cell phone carrier of the fraudulent number as well as details of the incident
  • Block the number from your device
  • Change all passwords on sensitive apps such as online banking, social media and any other space with personal information stored.

You can report spam text messages as well. Just click the link of your phone’s operating system to be taken to instructions.

You can also copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM). Be sure to always report any scam, even if you have not lost any money, to the BBB Scam Tracker.


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