CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - “Someone complimented you! See more:”
You may have seen this text message come across your phone from a number with a (202) area code but FOX19 Tech Expert Dave Hatter says you should ignore these messages.
“If you just can’t help yourself, if you just got to know if it’s real or not then my advice is always you initiate a new transaction with the purported sender,” Hatter said.
These messages come with a couple of links to click and Hatter believes this is a form of Smishing (a type of scam done through text messaging). According to our expert, anyone can be a target of this type of scam and it doesn’t matter whether you have shared your phone number with anyone or not.
“Phone numbers follow a particular pattern, U.S. phone numbers in particular, they’re predictable,” Hatter said. “So, it’s not difficult at all to write a computer program that can easily, very quickly, generate every possible phone number.”
The complimentary text message scam also comes with the option to ‘opt out’ of future messages by replying “NO” but Hatter says it’s not a good idea to do that either.
“[Replying] guarantees that they know that’s a good phone number and they’re going to take that phone number and they’re going to take that information an probably sell it to other spammers which will increase the likelihood of more spam and make you more of a target,” Hatter said.