June 1, 2022

Scammer round-up: June 2022

Written by kevin-c

Tips & Tricks

Every month, we here at TextNow take a look at some of the calling and texting scams being perpetrated by bad actors targeting phone users of all kinds (not just TextNow). We work very hard here to keep scammers and fraudsters off our platform, but with millions of messages and calls sent every day, it's a big job. All carriers are in the same boat of trying to restrict their platform to legitimate users.

So, in the spirit of public service, here are some of the recent scams going around you should avoid:

Home delivery scams

Home delivery scams have really taken off since the beginning of the pandemic. Understandably, Covid turned a lot of people on to using home delivery for groceries. This scam targets people who frequently use delivery services. Here’s how it works:

According to the Better Business Bureau, this tactic can start as a fake delivery text, email, phone call, or even a fake delivery tag on your door**.** The notice claims that UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, or another delivery service was unable to deliver your package. To fix the issue, they tell you to click a link, complete a form, or call a phone number to reschedule your delivery.

When you follow their instructions, it might download malware to your phone, or lead to a fraud site asking you to “verify” your credit card information. Either way, the scammer gets their hands on your personal or banking info for nefarious purposes.

Luckily, these scams are easy to avoid. If you're expecting a delivery, go to the carrier’s website directly to track the package. Another trick is to pop your tracking number into Google, which should lead you to the correct tracking page of the carrier. You can also usually check directly with the merchant.

If you’re not expecting a package, delete the email or text, and consider reporting the attempted fraud to the FTC.

Remember these rules of suspicious messages: Don’t open it, don’t click it, don’t download it, and don’t call the phone number they gave you. Always verify with a trusted source.

Credit card blocked scam

The credit block scam, like many of these, is another attempt to get information the scammer needs to scam you. It works like this: You get a message - a call, an email, or a text - from your bank or credit union saying that your card has been “blocked” due to fraudulent activity.

To “unblock” the card the scammer will ask you for an important piece of information - the three digit security code for example, or your full name and address.

How does this work? Behind the scenes, the scammers have lists of credit card numbers, but they’re incomplete. So while the scammer might know quite a bit of your personal details, they need you to give them the piece they’re missing so they can compromise your card.

If you are ever contacted by your financial institution about an issue with your account, do not give out any information. If you think it’s a legitimate message, contact your branch directly from the number on your card. Do not under any circumstances give out banking or credit card information over the phone, or email, or text.

Until next time, keep your eyes peeled for these and other potential scams and stay safe out there.