COVID-themed text scammers prey on pandemic-weary buyers
HONOLULU (KHON2) – You are not alone if you have been the victim of COVID-themed SMS scams.
The Better Business Bureau says these SMS scams are more common than ever.
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“So the offer looks like, due to the pandemic, ‘we’re going to give you a check for $ 950’ or ‘we’re going to extend a free year of this membership for you,’” said Roseann Freitas, Hawaii Better Manager of Business Bureau market. “‘You’re going through this, it’s a long time, here’s your reward.'”
These “rewards” have a link, but Freitas said when users click on them, “only to find out that it was either a phishing email or if there was malware attached to that link. and now they’ve downloaded it to your device. Either way they’re trying to take your money and your identity.
The BBB has said that knowing how real businesses normally contact you is essential to avoid scam texts.
“All of a sudden you get a text saying they’re from any company, but they don’t normally communicate with you that way. It’s a red flag, ”Freitas said.
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If you are unsure of a textual agreement for a specific brand, contact the company directly to verify! Updating your phone’s software will also fix new network issues. Some operators even offer services to block scammers, so check with them as well.