A text from McAfee about too much spam is spam!

No, this text is not really from McAfee. Scammers will use whatever they can to hook you.

GREENSBORO, NC – Fraudulent texts are everywhere. Chances are you have received a few of the ones listed below:

We accidentally overcharged your phone bill last month….

Due to the pandemic, everyone is getting Netflix for free…..

Your package could not be delivered…

Your debit card is blocked….

We expect spam messages, then we get this text:

McAfee Free Msg: We’ve been notified that your mobile device is receiving too much spam. Liquidate ’em Now >> linkofsomesort.com

Alas, this too is a scam.

“The crooks will cast a wide net and pay attention to what is going on. They know that more and more people are shopping online, out of necessity. The urgency of the message may cause you to make that hasty decision and click that link without thinking about it,” said a Better Business Bureau investigator.

You know you shouldn’t click the link, but what if you’re worried that something is seriously wrong with your bank account or Amazon order?

The answer is to always go to the source. Call your bank with the number on the back of your card, log into your Amazon account and check your orders. Whatever you do, do not use the link or phone number provided to you in a spam, call, or email.

Here are five things to look for to determine if a text message is real or fake:

  1. Dummy phone number: Scammers often try to impersonate well-known companies or the government in SMS scams, but they will use a fake phone number.

    The scam text message below claims to be from the California Employment Development Department (EDD), but is from a random phone number that does not register on caller ID and has a Minnesota area code for a California message. Scammers can also use a technique called “neighbor spoofing,” where the message appears to be from a phone number with your area code. You can always look up the number using a reverse phone lookup tool to find out if it’s real. If there are no results, it’s a red flag, says Rexxfield, a cyber investigation services company.

    1. Unsolicited message: You might receive a text message saying there was a problem delivering a package to your home. First you need to ask yourself, “Am I expecting a package?” If the answer is no, you are probably dealing with a scammer.

      Amazon says fraudulent texts claiming to be from the company will often include an order confirmation for something you didn’t buy or an attachment to a “confirmation.” Do not click on a link in the text, instead go to Your Orders on the Amazon website to see if there is an order that matches the details in the post. If there is none, the message is not from Amazon

    2. Urgent tone or excitation: Scammers will often use an urgent tone or try to create a sense of excitement in their text messages. They may claim you’ve won a prize, promise free gift cards or coupons, or notify you that an account is allegedly disabled.

      In our example below, the scammer claims that you will receive $500 if you sign up for a Whole Foods research project.

    3. Spelling and grammatical errors: A legitimate business will generally hire professional writers and editors for business communications. If you notice strange wording or spelling and grammatical errors, a scammer is likely sending the message, according to the BBB.

      In our example of fraudulent text that claims to be from California’s EDD, there are punctuation issues and the wrong words are capitalized. 5. Suspicious links: Some scam text messages may ask you to click on a link to claim a freebie or find out more about an issue. The link may redirect you to a fake website that looks real but is actually fake. Crooks can then steal your username and password if you log in.

      The link may also redirect you to an unofficial website, like in the example below where the scam texter claims to be from Amazon.

      Amazon says legitimate business websites will look like this example: https://pay.amazon.com/. Amazon will not send messages containing links to an IP address, such as http://123.456.789.123/amazon.com/.

      AT&T says you can also check if a website is secure by looking for an “s” after the “http” in a web address.

      Don’t click on a link in a text message if you don’t know if it’s real or fake.

About Geraldine Higgins

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