Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina urges consumers to beware of scams
targeting cell phone users.
bank employees, scam artists are sending text messages urging consumers to
contact them immediately about a “pressing issue” that needs to be discussed. Victims
of the scam are often asked to call a toll-free number and provide information,
such as their debit card or account number, to a fake automated system.
artists are also contacting consumers to tell them they have won a gift card to
a well-known store. The scam artist often provides a phone number for the
consumers to call in order to claim their prize, or they tell the consumers to
reply to the text message. Once the consumers do this, they are asked for their
credit card number in order to pay for shipping and handling.
are looking for you to respond with vital information that can ultimately lead
to identity theft,” said Toby Barfield,
president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina.
“Cell phone scams have been around
for years, but are gaining in popularity as more and more people use texting as
a primary means of personal communication.”
offers the following advice to consumers who believe they have received a phony
Never reply to the text message.
artists are preying on victims who text back and thus verify that the text
message has been sent to an active cell phone user. If the message has a link
in it, never click it. Many scam artists use this as a way to spread a viral
attack on your phone.
Report the text message
believe you have fallen victim to this scam, call your bank. They will be able
to tell you for certain if the text message is legitimate. BBB also advises
consumers to call the company who claims to be offering the gift card directly,
to see if you have truly been awarded the prize.
Call your cell phone provider.
phone provider will be able to block the scammer’s number, as well as any text
messages he may try to send you.
receive a phony text message, contact BBB immediately to report the scam.
Contact the Federal Trade
works to legally prevent fraudulent business practices in the marketplace. File
a complaint with the FTC by calling 1-877-HELP.
For more information regarding common scams,