Why is text messaging the scammer’s ultimate weapon?
In the digital age, scammers are constantly evolving their tactics to exploit unsuspecting victims. According to BDO’s Scam Culture Report, it appears that text messaging has become the scammer’s preferred weapon, especially when targeting older individuals aged 54 and above.
In the last quarter of 2022-23, more than $70 million was lost to investment scams, surpassing losses from fake government services, false billing, and romantic cons.
Text messages have overtaken phone calls as the top method for delivering scams. Society’s growing reluctance to answer calls from unknown numbers, combined with the increased use of screening apps, has made text messaging a more effective avenue for scammers.
Phone calls now account for less than one in five scam attempts, while texts make up 39 percent of scam reports. The most reported text message scams are bank impersonations.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently revealed that bank impersonation scams via text messages increased 20 times the amount reported in 2019.
Consumers reported over $330 million in losses to these scams in 2022. With the ease of sending fraudulent text messages and the difficulty of tracking down scammers, it’s no wonder this method has become so popular.
Can you protect yourself from text messaging scams?
Bank impersonation scams often involve urgent messages warning you of suspicious activity, creating a sense of pressure and fear.
Luckily, there are precautions you can take to shield your money from text message scams. The most important thing is not to succumb to pressure tactics.
Legitimate banks won’t force you into hasty actions under the threat of losing your money. Avoid clicking on any links in the message and never call a phone number provided in the text.
Instead, use the official phone number from your bank’s website or mobile app to initiate contact. These simple steps can be the difference between falling victim to a scam and protecting your hard-earned money.
If you do become a victim of a scam, you should notify your bank directly and report the scam to local law enforcement. In today’s digital landscape, staying vigilant against text message scams is essential.
By understanding scammers’ tactics and knowing how to protect yourself and respond if you’re targeted, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim in this “golden era” of digital fraud.
Remember, your financial safety is in your hands, and taking the right precautions can make all the difference.
Is online text messaging a blessing or a curse?
While scammers exploit technology for malicious aims, it’s essential to appreciate the positive aspects of online text messaging that enhance our daily lives and keep us connected in a fast-paced world.
Not all online text messaging is a breeding ground for scams. In fact, online texting platforms have brought numerous positive changes to our lives.
They facilitate instant communication across the globe, whether for personal, professional, or emergency purposes.
It also offers accessibility to individuals with disabilities, enabling them to communicate more easily and inclusively.
From keeping in touch with loved ones to conducting business meetings remotely, online text messaging has made our lives more convenient and connected than ever before.