Have YOU been bombarded with fishy texts recently? Americans are being stung by scam messages
Americans are being attacked by more than 376 million scamming text messages per day, which pose as Netflix, Amazon and banks to steal their money or voices.
These fake messages claim users’ accounts are frozen or credit cards are expired, prompting them to click a link that asks for personal information.
There are also dangerous communications with the user’s name, which offers a job opportunity, but they must call a number at a specific time.
‘Stacy, plz call me before 6pm at (201) 862-8851. I may have a job for you,’ reads a message obtained by DailyMail.com.
While the type of scam is unknown, con artists are attempting to get people on the phone and speak for several seconds to clone their voice, which is then used to scam someone else.
Americans are being attacked by more than 376 million scamming text messages per day, posing to be Netflix, Amazon and banks to steal their money or voices. Some are offering recipients job opportunities
‘If you get a text message you weren’t expecting and it asks you to give some personal or financial information, don’t click on any links. Legitimate companies won’t ask for information about your account by text,’ according to the Federal Trade Commission.
‘If you think the message might be real, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Not the information in the text message.’
Mobile devices have advanced our lives in ways we could never imagine, but they have also become a vital tool for scammers to weasel their way into our lives.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that between 2015 and 2022, the number of robotext complaints skyrocketed from 3,300 to 18,900 per year.
And Americans lost $10 billion to these scams in 2021 alone.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement: ‘Scam artists have found that sending us messages about a package you never ordered or a payment that never went through along with a link to a shady website is a quick and easy way to get us to engage on our devices and fall prey to fraud.’
While many robotexts prompt users to click a link, some provide a callback number.
This is a new type of scam in which con artists use AI-powered tools to capture your voice and clone it in less than five seconds.
‘You get a call. There’s a panicked voice on the line. It’s your grandson. He says he’s in deep trouble — he wrecked the car and landed in jail,’ the FTC shared on Monday.
These fake messages claim users’ accounts are frozen or credit cards are expired, prompting them to click a link that asks for personal information. Netflix released a statement saying it will never text users about their accounts
Amazon is another major company used to trick people in text messages. The fake communications could claim your account has been suspended after a security check and provides a link to verify your credentials
‘But you can help by sending money. You take a deep breath and think. You’ve heard about grandparent scams. But darn, it sounds just like him.’
‘How could it be a scam? Voice cloning, that’s how.’
Microsoft announced in January that it developed artificial intelligence that clones a person’s voice perfectly after analyzing just three seconds of an audio clip of them speaking.
The company’s VALL-E has not been made available to the public, but the innovation shows any tech-savvy person can recreate and use it for evil.
These scammers are also using big names to fool their victims.
Netflix released a statement about such schemes that urgently claim ‘your account is on hold,’ stating that there is an issue with the current billing information.
A link is attached to the message with a note telling recipients they have 48 hours to take action before their account is permanently suspended.
The link takes users to a site that looks like Netflix and asks them to reenter their credit card details, which the scammer steals.
‘We will never ask you to enter your personal information in a text or email,’ Netflix said in a statement about the fishy texts.
‘We will never request payment through a 3rd party vendor or website. If the text or email links to a URL that you don’t recognize, don’t tap or click it.
In May 2022, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) sent out an alarm after people received text messages from a bank, alerting them to a hold, fraudulent activity, or an update to a financial account. This message claims to be from Bank of America
‘If you did already, do not enter any information on the website that opened.’
Unfortunately, if scammers successfully trick you into visiting the webpage, they could quickly exploit your phone or computer.
Aaron Rouse, a Special Agent In Charge from the FBI’s Las Vegas office, told local NBC affiliate KSNV: ‘You’ll have a loss of access to your device, sometimes. You’ll have afforded somebody access to your device, and you’ll possibly lose personally identifiable information,’
‘So it’s something that we just like we say with email. If you didn’t ask for it, don’t click on it.’
Amazon is another major company used to trick people in text messages.
The fake communications could claim your account has been suspended after a security check and provides a link to verify your credentials.
Another scheme tells consumers that an expensive product was ordered from their account and includes a phone number if they think it was a mistake.
The FCC announced new rules to combat spammy text messages requiring cellular providers to block text messages from suspicious sources, including phone numbers that appear ‘invalid, unallocated, or unused
Like Netflix, Amazon has also addressed the issues by urging customers not to share their personal information.
In May 2022, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) sent out an alarm after people received text messages from a bank, alerting them to a hold, fraudulent activity, or an update to a financial account.
‘Scammers will use the opportunity to obtain your banking information. For example, a website may prompt for an ATM card number and PIN under the guise of ‘reactivating your ATM card,” BBB said in a statement.
‘Other times, the link may download malicious software that gives scammers access to anything on the phone. A scammer on the phone may demand personal information such as your social security number.’
The FCC announced new rules to combat spammy text messages requiring cellular providers to block text messages from suspicious sources, including phone numbers that appear ‘invalid, unallocated, or unused.’
The update, announced last week, also requires carriers to block text messages from phone numbers that do not send text messages.