Be cautious - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the following important recommendations that might save you, the consumer, from being ripped off.
- Don’t text or email back. Legitimate companies won’t ask you to verify your identity through unsecured channels, like text or email.
- Don’t click on any links within the message. Links can install malware on your device and take you to spoof sites to try to get your information.
- Report the message to your cell phone carrier’s spam text reporting number. If you’re an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, or Bell customer, you can forward the text to 7726 (SPAM) free of charge.
- Consumers who think they have been taken advantage of by a spam scam can file a complaint with the FTC and report spam to www.ftc.gov/complaint. Please report any scam that started with an email and resulted in you losing money.. Complaints will help the FTC find and stop people who are using spam to defraud consumers.
If at all possible, include the full email header. Header information is typically hidden, but a quick search for “full email header” and the name of your email service (for example, Yahoo) will give you the steps necessary to find that information.
If you think you clicked a link or opened an attachment that downloaded harmful software:
- Update your computer's security software.
- Then run a scan and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
- Learn more about how to get fewer spam emails at ftc.gov/spam
If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number:
- Go to IdentityTheft.gov. Look for specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.
If you gave your username and password to a scammer:
- Change your password right away. If you use the same password for other accounts or sites, change it there, too. Create a new password that is strong.
If someone calls and offers to "help" you recover money you have already lost:
- Don't give them money or personal information. You are probably dealing with a fake refund scam.
- Learn more about different scams and how to recovery from them at ftc.gov/scams.