This week, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis highlighted an article by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that is advising consumers to beware of spam text messages.
Recently scammers have been sending fake text messages in hopes of trying to trick consumers into giving out their personal information. In addition, a recent news article reports that consumers have been receiving text messages from FedEx, USPS or UPS with a fake shipment tracking code and a link to update your delivery preferences to get access to personal information.
“With more and more Floridians paying bills, shopping and doing other things electronically, scam text messages are on the rise, so it is important for consumers to remember to never click on a link in an unexpected text message,” Patronis said. “While we are still dealing with the pandemic and it being an election year, scammers have been given a number of different ways to attack unsuspecting consumers and it is critical for Floridians to always stay on-guard. If you receive a text message that you believe may be fraudulent, verify it by contacting the company using a website or phone number that you know is real. If you are suspicious of fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com. Always remember to stay vigilant and never give out your personal information and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
FTC’s Tips on How to Recognize Suspicious Text Messages
Scammers use a variety of ever-changing stories to try to rope you in. They may:
- promise free prizes, gift cards or coupons
- offer you a low or no interest credit card
- promise to help you pay off your student loans
Scammers also send fake messages that say they have some information about your account or a transaction. The scammers may:
- say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity on your account
- claim there’s a problem with your payment information
- send you a fake invoice and tell you to contact them if you didn’t authorize the purchase
- send you a fake package delivery notification