Stop! Don't press that text link!

Stop! Don't press that text link!
So there you are watching 90 Day Fiance when the phone goes off signifying that you've received a new text message. The message reads something along the lines of, "We found a package from back in March pending for you." That is followed by a link that you're supposed to click on to confirm ownership of the package and to arrange delivery. Your fingers are about to tap the link; hey, who wouldn't want a surprise package at their door?

But it is very important that you listen to this sage advice. Under no circumstances should you click on the link. Indiana's WANE reports that some victims of the scam were fooled because the message contained their first name. Do not be fooled by that level of familiarity. Clicking on the link will bring up a form that you will be asked to fill out that demands information that you normally wouldn't be giving away so freely-like a social security number or a credit card number. But the lure of a surprise package often dulls the senses and lowers your inhibitions. Thus, you could end up having the cash in your bank account whisked away without your permission.

Back in January, we told you about a similar scam that used the name of shipping firm Federal Express to entice victims to give up their personal info. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says that those who shop online often or sign up for free trials are the main targets. With the pandemic, scammers are aware that more people are shopping from home. Nichole Thomas, communication director for the BBB in Northern Indiana, stated, "We believe that link is some form of phishing, malware, or it could be a virus that is uploaded to your phone or your computer. If they were to put a virus on your device that could track your keystrokes, that means they could get your username, password and potentially have access to your financial information." Thomas added that "Anytime you get something like that, we recommend that you don’t click and that you delete that text right away."

If you've already opened the link and/or passed along private data, the BBB recommends that you install anti-virus software on your computer and monitor your phone for abnormal activity.


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