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Scams sent through spam text messages on the rise

Various apps like TextKiller can help block spam messages
Posted at 1:46 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 17:05:25-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Cybersecurity experts say spam text messages are on the rise and Floridians are losing thousands of dollars to these types of scams.

"I get them all the time, and it's very annoying," Mayelin Saceiro, who lives in Royal Palm Beach, said. "Sometimes you think it's important and what they want you to do is to click on a link."

Saceiro told WPTV she recently almost fell for a scam that was sent to her through a spam text.

"It was from Chase Bank and I thought, 'This is strange,'" Saceiro said. "I immediately went to my bank account and nothing was going on, so it was spam."

 Mayelin Saceiro, Royal Palm Beach resident discusses spam texts
Mayelin Saceiro says she is inundated by spam text messages.

"Unfortunately, scammers are smart," Giulia Porter, the vice president of TextKiller, said.

Porter told WPTV that's why scams through text messages — versus phone calls — are on the rise.

"As we've evolved to communicate and are making less phone calls and answering less phone calls, scammers are shifting to text messages," Porter said.

According to data from TextKiller, Floridians received 594 million spam texts in May. The estimated financial loss is $90 million.

"Always look out for the contents of the message. Scammers do try to make their texting scams believable," Porter said. "They might say they're from Amazon, but Amazon is slightly misspelled."

Giulia Porter, vice president of TextKiller
Giulia Porter outlines why cellphone users are being overwhelmed by spam text messages.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Thursday a new text scam, which usually says something to the effect of, "Your bill is paid for March. Thanks, here's a little gift for you."

"These scam messages may include a link to a website requesting personal information," Moody said. "They can also contain malware."

Downloading an app like TextKiller will help block these messages from your phone.

When in doubt, if it's too good to be true, or seems a bit fishy, it probably is.

"I get them. I block the number, and I delete them immediately," Saceiro said.

If you get a text you think could be legitimate, but you're not sure, the attorney general's office suggests calling the company that it's allegedly from and checking with them before clicking the link.

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