LITTLE ROCK – It is always exciting to get the text message alert that your package has arrived – but what if you didn’t order anything? The latest trend from pesky scam artists comes as a text message telling Arkansans a package is being delivered to their home and they must click on the link in the message. In reality, there is no package, the text does not come from a legitimate delivery company, and the scammer is just trying to hack into a user’s phone and steal personal information.
“Scam artists are using an old email scam to steal from Arkansans right from their phones,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “If you receive a phony text message that you did not sign up for, do not click on anything in the message and delete the message immediately.”
Attorney General Rutledge has provided these tips for Arkansans who have experienced phishing text message scams:
- Do not reply to unsolicited text messages and do not click on the links in the message. If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint subscriber, you can report spam texts to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
- If you find unauthorized charges on your cell phone bill, report those to your cell phone provider and ask that the charges be removed.
- Check with your wireless carrier to see if it has options available to reduce text message spam, such as blocking all text messages that originate from a computer or the internet. Texts sent by an email address, as opposed to direct-dialed texts, are those most likely to be scams.
- Apple iPhones and Google Android users have provided instructions for customers to block specific numbers.
- Protect your phone by setting up software to update automatically. The software updates can give you critical protection against security risks.
- Use a multi-factor authentication process to protect your accounts which offers extra security by requiring two or more login credentials to log in to an account on your phone. This could be a passcode, fingerprint, or your face.
- Backing up your data is the most secure way to protect your information. Make a copy of your files, photos and other important data on your phone and make sure it is connected to a cloud storage device or external hard drive, not connected to your home network.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.