Cyber Safe Parent: SMS phishing, texting scams

Cyber Safe Parent: SMS phishing, texting scams

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) –Have you ever gotten a text from yourself that you didn’t send?

8 News Now investigates the latest cyber crime: a text scam that uses your own phone number to try to trick you.

Spoofing phone numbers is a common trick cybercriminals use to get people to respond to them. Criminals will get a block number of phone numbers, program the scripted scam, and send it out.

“It’s just one more way that these cybercriminals are getting crafty on trying to trick people into clicking on something,” said Metro police Lieutenant Allen Larsen. “They can do it in bunches, hundreds, even thousands at a time.”

More than 5,000 incidents of the same-number spam text messages were tracked last week, many impacting Verizon customers.

“Really any company is vulnerable with these specific scams, they’re sending out the phone numbers, in a lot of cases, I think a lot of times the suspects even know who the carriers are,” Lt. Larsen continued.

The messages from your number claim to be from your wireless carrier, referencing your wireless bill with a link to a free gift, which actually leads to malicious websites.

“They’re constantly looking for any avenue that they can to be able to get access to to people’s networks or systems or their personal identifying information,” Lt. Larsen stated. “The biggest danger with that is if you’re clicking on the link, generally speaking, they’re either taking you to a fake network server or website.”

Americans received a total of 87 billion spam text messages in 2021, a 58% increase from the previous year.

SMS phishing scams are always trying to get you to click on a link to collect your information, so if you get a text, don’t click on it, take a screenshot if you plan to report it, and delete it.

If a friend sends you a link, call them before clicking to make sure they weren’t hacked.

“The biggest thing is, just take whatever measures you can to protect yourself,” Lt. Larsen said.

If you dealt with this text scam or any type of attempted cyber crime, you can file a complaint at the Internet Crime Complaint Center through this link.

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