TECH BYTE: How to Dodge Holiday Texting Scams

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Many of us might be taking some time off over the holidays, but scammers aren’t.

28 percent of Americans were victims to texting scams over the holidays last year.

And Norton Security found nearly a third of people they surveyed in 2021 were scammed in some manner, losing an average of nearly $400.

You don’t want to be a part of either of those statistics this year.

Many scams are done through a process called smishing.

“When you talk about smishing, it’s the same concept of phishing, or things you may get in e-mails, and now it’s showing up as a text message,” said George Cray, iconectiv VP.

Those messages might want you to click on a link or call some number.

Cray says texts from five or six-digit numbers – or short codes – are more trustworthy.

Scammers are using scare tactics, and taking advantage of shoppers who are often in a hurry.

“What I think ends up happening is, that’s their one element that we see with these which is urgency,” Cray said. “They try to get you when your guard is down, so whether it’s an e-mail, or a phone call, or a text message, one of the things they try to trap you is some urgency. Click this link, or provide this bit of information, and because you are caught off guard and aren’t expecting it, some people fall for that quickly.”

Hackers often try to get you to verify gift cards, falsely claim delivery delays, or claim they need more information to complete a delivery.

It’s smart to just use common sense when hearing from someone you don’t know.

Never provide personal information over a text that could compromise you.

If you get a text that looks suspicious, report it to the CTIA. Just text 7726, or SPAM.

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology