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There are several benefits to living in a world where mass communication is so easy. You can hear from anyone, anytime, anywhere, and communicate with all kinds of different people at virtually any time.
There are dozens of mediums and hundreds of platforms you can use to reach out to communities, individual people, and groups. The modern world provides many different avenues for communication, and these benefits have a massive impact on how people live their lives.
However, this massive amount of communication services comes without its downsides. One of the biggest is the existence of text scammers.
The best way to combat scammers is to understand them, their tactics and what they’re doing, and how you can avoid them. Here are the text scams to know about and how you can ensure that you never end up getting scammed.
What Are Text Scams?
Text scams are methods that cyber criminals use to try and convince a person to give up their personal information or money. They use different tricks to seem real, but these are lies set up to manipulate unsuspecting people. Scammers often try to learn important information like your passwords, account numbers, or social security numbers to gain access to various accounts.
Scammers use made-up stories to pull people into their schemes. They often offer prizes like gifts, gift cards, or special deals to places you may be familiar with. They might concoct stories about your accounts being hacked or needing your permission and usernames and password to reset and verify your identity, or other false narratives.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to find holes in their "phishing" stories, but with enough research and awareness, a scam is easy to spot.
Banks and other organizations will not contact you by text when it comes to important things like account information and other similar emergencies. Highly sensitive information is dealt with by secure methods, which means you’ll rarely see a text from them. Just remember; if it’s important, brand new numbers probably won’t be texting you.
Common Types of Text Scams
There are a few ways fraudsters will try to trick you into falling into their trap. If a text you’ve received seems suspicious, be on your guard and on the lookout for other warnings and red alerts.
Often, scammers will text you details about a “prize” that you have won. While there are many text-to-win contests, if you receive information about a prize that you never even entered, the odds are good that it’s a scam.
Scammers will often say that there is a prize for you, but you need to give them your bank, credit card number, or financial information in order to receive it. The texter might ask for your private information by saying that they represent large companies, including Walmart, Apple, Amazon, and many others.
If you didn’t sign up to win something in a text-to-win format, the odds are that it is too good to be true. If you need verification, you should call the company they claim to be with to see if this prize is legitimate.
Another commonly seen scam is known as a text refund delivered to your mobile device or smartphone. This is a text message scam claiming that you have been overcharged for a service or product, and they need to refund you. But to refund you, they need your phone or bank account information.
A good rule of thumb is: Never send any of your credit card or bank information over text or by unsecured means. If any criminal parties have access to your private information, they can steal large amounts of money from you. Make sure that you only share your bank or credit card information with organizations that provide financial services — and only provide your details in a secure forum.
If an organization needs to refund you, they will have the necessary information to refund you or will contact you by a secure method. Make sure to be wary of numbers asking for important information through text.
Phone Numbers With Unusual Length
Texts from phone numbers that are abnormally long may also be scams. A legitimate phone number will have ten digits, with six-digit phone numbers becoming rarer. A six-digit number shouldn’t immediately raise red flags, but if the content of the message raises any suspicion, it’s best to ignore it.
Another common situation is receiving a phone call from a number with more than ten digits. These are often scam numberss. Be careful about replying to these two types of numbers. It’s often not worth the risk to even respond.
Always make sure to count the digits in a phone number if the content of the message seems a little off. That can be a clear calling card to a scam number.
How to Avoid Text Scams
One of the best ways to avoid text scams is to be very careful about who you give your phone number to. Most companies are very courteous not to spam you and keep your number private.
However, scammers can still get access to your phone number; for example, if a company sells your information, or if their databases are hacked. Make sure you are particular about who has access to your phone number.
If you do happen to receive a scam text from an odd number, make sure not to respond and block the number, delete the text, and report it to your phone service provider or the authorities. Do not click on suspicious links, attachments, junk, or other types of SMS communications.
Scammers are dangerous and cause great amounts of harm to innocent, unsuspecting people. They like to prey on people they believe are less knowledgeable about how the internet works and more gullible to fall for false information and emotional traps.
If they can hone in on specific targets, they will go for less educated and experienced people with the often disingenuous nature of many online scammers.
It is very important to make sure that you and the people around you are educated and able to identify text scams. To people who are well acquainted with the anonymous nature of many online and texting interactions, it can be very easy to spot when something or someone isn’t what they claim to be.
It’s a good idea to be prudent and suspicious of anything that genuinely seems like it may be a hoax or front for something illegal. Scammers can be very annoying, but anyone can properly deal with them with the right knowledge and experience.
How You Can Use Community in a World Constantly On Guard
If you’ve been on Twitter or other social media sites lately, you may have noticed that some Leaders have started to talk about having them text you at their Community phone number..
Community is a new way to engage with your audience through text. It provides countless ways to interact with people personally and cultivate real relationships between Community Members and their Leaders. Tools like message Clustering, Demographic Filtering, and Scheduled messaging allow Community Leaders to uniquely identify and categorize their Members in ways that will cultivate unique interactions and make their messaging much more effective.
Personalized messaging from people they follow also allows Members to trust and want to seek out interaction with the people they care about most. Removing that “spammy” feeling from Bulk Texting and replacing it with genuine connection will have a massive impact on how people perceive their Community Leaders.
Community is based on one of the most important parts of communication: genuine two-way dialogue. Community serves to connect fans with the Leaders who matter to them, so they have genuine communication.
The modern world of mass communication has many people pretending to be something they are not so that they can extract money, information, or other valuable things from unsuspecting people.
The reality is most of them, frankly, aren’t very good at what they do. Almost every scammer has obvious red flags that you can quickly spot and avoid. Most people are pretty good at knowing when they’re being lied to, so if your gut says that something is off, it’s best to listen to that feeling.
Whereas most mass communication services for brands and creators are based around impersonal, one-way communication, Community is focused on creating a real-time, instant, direct reach with a community. Check out Community today at our website, and start connecting with the people that you truly care about today.
Text Message Scams | The Office of Attorney General Keith Ellison.
How To Recognize and Report Spam Text Messages | Federal Trade Commission
NEXT How to Identify a Text Scam | SlickText