Have you received random text messages from numbers that you don’t know? Sometimes, they just say “Hi”, or they appear to be for someone else and mistakenly sent to you. Either way, they look like the come from real phone numbers. Is it safe to respond to these messages, or are these a scam?
Most likely these text messages are a scam, not just a chatty Kathy trying to make friends. Sometimes these messages just start out with a mysterious “Hi”. The scammer is hoping the person on the other end will be intrigued enough to respond. If they get a response, they now know they have reached a working number, and will likely call or text you more in the future.
Identifying potential scams
Some scammers use messages that seem like they are intended for someone else. They might say something like, “Hi, Mike. I had a great time at dinner last night”, or “Hi Susan, I really enjoyed our lunch meeting yesterday”.
Many people respond out of kindness, letting the person know that they have the wrong number. What they don’t realize is that is exactly what the scammer wants. At first, they may sound friendly or apologetic, maybe even try to start up a conversation. But eventually the scammer will send a link to a malicious website or ask for money as part of a bigger con.
If you are unsure whether a wrong number message is a scam, proceed with caution. The scammer may send messages for days or weeks before doing anything suspicious, or they may use seemingly harmless techniques, such as sending a link to a cool product to check out. However, this could be a link to a malicious website or to their landing page. If this is the case, any personal information or credit card numbers entered on the website will be available to the scammer.
How to avoid wrong number scams
Here are some best practices to avoid falling for text message scams like this one.
- Avoid responding to unsolicited text messages from unknown numbers, even if they seem harmless.
- Don’t click on links sent in text messages, even if the person seems friendly or has been messaging you for weeks.
- Type in any links to a site directly into your browser instead of clicking provided links in text messages or emails. Links can be made to appear to go to one site, while routing you to another site. They may even go so far as to create a fake site that looks like the real site.
- Always double-check site URLs before attempting to log in or enter in personal information.
- Check what options your mobile phone has for blocking and reporting suspicious senders. Here are some instructions for iPhone (iOS) and Android.
It is important not to let your guard down, as these are tactics commonly used by scammers. Remember, these scammers can be tricky. If you find yourself unsure about the legitimacy of a text message, it is best not to respond.
If you are ever unsure if you have been the target of a scam, you can talk to one of our technicians at our storefront in Pembroke, GA. We are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, closed for holidays. We normally service Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, such as Skidaway Island, Tybee Island, Statesboro, Pooler, Richmond Hill and Hilton Head SC. If you are located outside of the Greater Savannah area, we are always open to working with clients from in any area if the partnership makes sense. if you are concerned about the security of your online information, we offer a service to scan the Dark Web for our business clients.