JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Billions of spam messages are being sent straight to peoples’ phones. In some cases, the scammer behind the text is trying to hack your bank account.
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Spam texts and ‘robo calls’ have become the norm for many people, including Tesa Childs.
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“They cleared my whole bank account,” Tesa Childs said. “Somehow, they had complete access to my phone.”
Childs said she was shopping on eBay when a third party contacted her. She had no idea it was not a sales representative with the eBay, so she gave the caller access to her information.
Americans lost $87 billion dollars to phone scams in 2022, according to Robokiller. This February alone, people received 10.7 billion spam texts, according to the company.
“It’s almost the holy grail for them [scammers], if they could actually get possession, more or less of your phone number,” Senior Vice President, George Cray, with iConectiv said. “Consumers are very responsive to text messages they receive. So, it’s only natural that the scammers are going to places where you pay attention.”
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Cray said you can never 100% trust a text sent from an unknown 10-digit number. Five or six digit codes are more reliable.
“You need to be sure who you’re talking to or who is texting you,” Cray said. “They may send you a text message pretending to be your bank or your credit card or some institution that you have a relationship with. They’re basically trying to confuse you.”
Other things to keep an eye out for: anything asking for your personal information, like a credit card, your social security number or home address. You should also avoid clicking on links from unknown numbers.
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You should also report any suspicious text messages.