I recently received an email from a Scamicide subscriber who was concerned about a possible scam. She received a text message that was obviously intended for someone else. Wanting to be a responsible person, she responded to the text message telling the sender that it had been sent to the wrong number. At this point, the scammer sending the original text message said that he was always looking for more friends and attempted to start a conversation. At this point, the Scamicide reader became suspicious as the scammer started asking for personal information and she did not respond further.
Often these phony text messages aren’t even coming from a real person, but are automated responses sent by a bot programmed to give specific responses. The scams involved with these calls are many, but they all start with establishing a relationship with the targeted victim such that the victim begins to trust the scammer. At this point, the scammer may ask for personal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft. In other instances, they will lure you into clicking on a malware infected link under some pretense. In yet another version of the scam, they will use the text message to advance a romance scam and either eventually ask for money or for you to send compromising photos that would be used for blackmail purposes. Finally, these phony text messages have also been used to lure people into cryptocurrency scams. The bottom line is that when you get a text message that appears to be intended for someone else, it often is a scam.
This is an easy scam to avoid. The best thing to do is to merely not respond at all to the text message. The risk of getting involved in a scam is too great. You also should block the number from your phone. If your mobile service provider is AT&T, Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile you should forward the message to SPAM (7726) and report it as spam.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and type in your email address on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”