From Our Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
Technology scams are running rampant right now, whether they come by email, phone call, and now text messaging. We have had several customers reach out about texts that look to be from their bank asking to "verify information." Be vigilant when dealing with any communications via phone call, email, or text that regard any exchange of money or "verifying" any account information with a link or number to call.
Our recommendations are as follows:
You can use your cell phone carriers' built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next. This makes permanent blocking hard.
To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC. This can be done online at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:
- Do not engage spammers. When you answer or respond, you are showing the scammer, spammer, or robo-system that your phone number or email is "live". It is then put on a live numbers list that is sold over and over and the calls/texts/emails will continue infinitely.
- Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. This one is hard for agents, but if it is important or a legitimate call, they will leave a voicemail or text you.
- Do not answer texts from numbers you do not recognize.
- Get into the habit of regularly entering and labeling known clients, colleagues, friends, family, etc. as contacts in your phone and email.
- Do not answer unsolicited or out-of-the-ordinary texts from numbers you do recognize. The number could be spoofed to fool you. Instead, call the number you have in your contacts (not from the text or email) for the person texting you and verify via phone call that they sent the text.
- Do not click on links in texts or emails that you are not expecting from anyone that you do or do not recognize unless you have verified with the actual sender via phone call or in person.
- Do not open emails, download any attachments, or click on links in emails from senders you do not recognize.
- Do not download any attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious emails or texts from senders you do recognize. Their email may have been hacked or their number spoofed.
- TRUST YOUR INTUITION. Slightest question of authenticity? Feeling of distrust? Major red flag? Do not ignore these feelings.
- COMMUNICATION IS KEY. If a text or email seems weird, out of character, just a slight bit off? We recommend that you call the person/company/bank to verify the contents of an email or text, or ask a trusted professional.
If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.