Protect Yourself: The Most Prevalent Text Scams

It is crucial to stay vigilant that scammers are becoming more intelligent and advanced in their attempts to trick and defraud innocent people. Among the most prevalent tactics utilized by scammers are text message scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a report exposing the most prevalent text scams to assist individuals in recognizing and evading them.

The number one scam is a bank fraud alert. The scam involves fraudulent text messages that appear to come from banks or other financial institutions, which request personal information or urge recipients to click on links. These messages can be convincing and may even include the bank's branding, making it difficult to tell them apart from legitimate messages. For instance, you might be given a fake number to call for information on supposed suspicious activity or be prompted to reply "yes" or "no" to verify a significant transaction (even though you didn't make it). If you respond, you'll get a call from the (fake) fraud department, and money may be transferred out of your account. Last year, the median reported loss from this scam was a staggering $3,000, and many people even ended up giving their Social Security numbers and other personal information to scammers, which could lead to identity theft.

The other scams include:

  • Bogus "little gifts."
  • Fake package delivery problems
  • Phony job offers
  • Not-really-from-Amazon security alerts

To protect yourself from these scams, it's best never to click on links or give personal information in response to unsolicited text messages. Suppose you receive a message that appears to come from your bank. In that case, it's always best to contact the bank directly using their official website or customer service hotline to confirm its legitimacy.

If you think you may have fallen victim to a bank text scam, it's essential to act fast. Please contact your bank or financial institution right away to report the incident and take steps to secure your accounts. You may also want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Sheriff's Office at 845 225-4300.

Sheriff McConville wants to remind everyone that scammers are constantly finding new ways to deceive people and steal their money and personal information. So, stay alert and be cautious when receiving unsolicited messages or calls asking for personal information. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further concerns.