Be Aware: Text Scams are on the Rise


Be Aware: Text Scams are on the Rise

Be Aware: Text Scams are on the Rise

                Many of us remember a world without text messaging, a world where a phone call, pager, or email was the way to contact people near or far. However, text messaging is now one of the main channels people and companies use to get in contact with you. Not only can loved ones across the globe instantly send you a message, but so can your favorite retailers and service providers. Unfortunately, it is just as easy for scammers.


                In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that instances of robotexting went up 68 percent in 2022, topping out at 147 million texts. This incredible increase in reports is mostly attributed to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) crackdown on robocalls. Unfortunately, that only caused scammers to look for a new avenue to steal your money and information: “smishing.”

                “Smishing” is a combination of the words SMS (Short Message Service) and phishing (the practice of sending messages pretending to be from a reputable company to gain personal information fraudulently). Scammers bet that people will be more likely to respond to a text message than a cold call. Usually, these text messages will claim to be from a well-known company and ask you to click a link or call a number for a variety of reasons. These scenarios will be detailed below.


Package Scam

Text will claim to be from USPS, FEDEX, or any other popular shipping company claiming your package is undeliverable unless you pay a fee, provide more information, or update delivery preferences.

Account Deactivation/Activity

Message claims your account is inactive or compromised and you must click the link and update information to get reinstated.

Selective Service

A text claims to be from the federal government and threatens jail time unless the recipient signs up for the draft.

Prizes and Gifts

Scammers will pretend to be from a well-known company and claim you have won a prize. Once the link is clicked, a spoof website will collect your information and payment for a prize that doesn’t exist.

Low Interest Rates

These texts usually offer low interest rates on credit cards that do not exist or rates no legitimate credit card company could or would offer.

Payment Problem

Links in these scam texts will often lead to carefully made copy websites to collect your payment information.

Student Loan Payoff

Like the credit card scam, these texts offer low interest student loan payoffs that would not usually be offered to the average consumer.

Payment Authorization

These texts look like they are trying to authenticate a purchase; however, the links or phone numbers are a way for scammers to get your personal information and are not from your banking institution.


Avoid and Report

The rule for text messages is as follows: Always verify Contact, Content, and Context.


                It is important to always verify who the text is actually coming from. If it is coming from a company, best practice is to never use the phone number in the text, but gather the information from an old bill or their secure website. Even if the text is coming from a friend, you should always think twice about any link you click. Your friend may have been hacked or have not verified the website themselves. Furthermore, government agencies will almost never initiate contact by phone, especially by text.


                Next, verify the content. If the text is claiming to be from a streaming provider, check your TV or computer to see if you can still access the account. If it is from a shipping company, ask yourself if you are expecting a delivery or if you signed up for text notifications.


                Finally, ask yourself if this is something reasonable a company would do. Would a legitimate company claim you won a free prize, then require you to enter payment details for shipping? Would a government agency really threaten jail time if personal information is not given and with no prior notice? The answer to all of these is no.

                One excellent way to avoid text scams is to prevent their delivery. Some phones, wireless providers, or call-blocking apps can prevent spam messages from reaching you in the first place. Contact your provider to see if any of these are an option for you! If these are not an option, it is important to report any spam messages to 7726 (SPAM) to alert your provider of the attempt. You should also report the attempt to the FTC at

                Clicking links in text messages can lead to identity theft or malware. However, if you verify the Contact, Content, and Context of the text messages you receive, you can avoid these issues.


Mobile Phone Texts: Spam and Scams | Federal Communications Commission (

How to Recognize and Report Spam Text Messages | Consumer Advice (

Don’t click on that random text. It’s a scam | Consumer Advice (

Is that text message about your FedEx package really a scam? | Consumer Advice (


View All Posts