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Here’s a tip that’s worth repeating:

Don’t click on a link in a text message you get on your phone that says you’ve won a terrific prize or a gift card. Don’t reply either. It’s probably a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission settled charges with a group of marketers that were part of a scheme that sent millions of unsolicited spam text messages promoting supposedly free merchandise like $1,000 gift cards for Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

People who clicked the links in the messages didn’t get the promised prizes. Instead, they were taken to websites that asked them to give personal information and sign up for multiple offers, often involving purchases or paid subscriptions.

What can you do about unwanted text messages?

  • Delete unwanted text messages that ask you to enter a special code, or to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies won’t send you a text asking for sensitive information.
  • Don’t click on links in the text message. Links can take you to spoof sites that look real but will steal your personal information.
  • Report spam texts to your carrier. Copy the original message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM) free of charge, if you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint subscriber.

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Concerned Consumer
March 18, 2017

In reply to by FlossieMae28

Just got this one from 855-999-4703. "Someone from your school just mentioned you on UChat! See who! [Shortened URL I'm assuming takes you to somewhere nefarious]"
December 21, 2016

In reply to by Caligal

I got, "You were just added to the U-Chat by someone from your school! See who it was!" Then it had a site. I didn't click on it, because it was odd. I'm glad I looked it up.
January 11, 2017

In reply to by Caligal

Got a message saying someone mentioned me on UChat, 855 999 4700. Funny how all these different numbers are really close together.
October 02, 2016
received a text from a address saying "this is the one I was told to buy so I did" didn't reply.
October 03, 2016
Best advice? Never respond to any text, or open any link from anyone you don't know. Period. It's that easy. Just don't. If it was legit from a friend, they will ask you about it some time.
October 04, 2016
got one from "this is the one all the traders just bought" blocked. info says that phone number is 1(248)59 not sure how that works.
October 04, 2016
I just got one that has a link then "wanted to ask you something, pls get on here for a few" but only from a 4 digit number. I tried googling the text of the message to see if its a known scam, and didn't know that google would automatically load the website included in the it, and all that loaded was the "page not found" page.
October 05, 2016

In reply to by EAC

Same EAC I woke up this morning to find that same text and I'm looking for it online but there's nothing about it your the only one that I've seen with the same one as me. It would be best not to reply unless you know you are supposed to be gegtting a text if not don't reply to any number
October 08, 2016

In reply to by EAC

Had a 4 digit number do the same thing they said "I have my cam on lol" very strange at 3 am. Woke me up going off had to search it.
October 05, 2016
After updating my phone to the newest version I got a text from responding to something I had said to Siri... how did it know? I'm very freaked out.
October 07, 2016

In reply to by scambotssuck

I did too, but was that they could see me. I shut off all access to camera on my apps. very concerning
October 05, 2016
I've gotten a few, starting at like 3am- "can u hop on here real quick 2 chat" "can we chat for a few pls..jump on here" etc. Really irritating and would like to make sure this is able to be blocked
October 13, 2016

In reply to by Matt

I just got the same one, I just purchased this phone its a galaxy note 4, have u done anything new downloads sign up for anything were are trying to find the source

October 10, 2016

In reply to by Matt

I've gotten the same thing! But it's not from a number it's from letters. I would like to know how to stop this
October 11, 2016
Also just received one front an sms sender asking if I can "come on here real quick pls, I need to talk to you"
October 05, 2016
Just received a text from that said, "can u hop on here real quick to talk pls" After reading these comments I just went ahead and deleted the message
October 06, 2016
I just received a text from also. I just received s new phone. I just shut off my Read messages so they probably know I read it. Same sort of message "can you hop on here real quick to talk pls" weird because appears like I have it in my contacts. Even went to their "i" contact info and there is a phone icon. Won't click on it so I can't tell you the phone number listed under that contact. Will it do me harm if I keep this message on my phone til I go to the Verizon store tomorrow to report this? I've shut off me READ messages now. Don't like this. Help please.
October 06, 2016
got the same message as Matt. Very weird. I'm sure my fiancée panicked for a min too - I would have if I would have seen a text like that on his phone. Wish the was a way to track.'im gonna look into it.
October 06, 2016
Same problem at 3 a.m. this morning that "Matt October 5, 2016" reported.
Todd A
October 11, 2016

Just got the same message as Matt, from "". "can we chat for a few pls. when you get on". I just deleted it. It's like all of those robo-calls on my landline. Missed calls but no messages. (Well, dead air, but that's my machine.) If they REALLT want to talk with me, they should leave a message. LOL

October 07, 2016
I just received a text from saying "can u get on here and hit me up" i asked who it was, but then realized that the number is 6 digits long.
October 11, 2016

I recieved something from sexual from twice now.this one let me know if u can see me ok Im freaked out

October 07, 2016
I've gotten amessage from a couple of times saying:hmu when u get on here... How can I Block them on my Samsung S7 edge? Anyone?
October 11, 2016
A FEW DAYS AGO AT 6:30AM. MY HUSBAND RECEIVED A TEXT FROM... it said this... hmu when u get on here
October 10, 2016
I just got a text from a 262 222 had the name of one of my FB contacts asking if I got an invitation from this person 22 seconds ago and it said veiw private profile with a"tiny url" address and a picture of a red box with a white flame....what is that
November 22, 2016

In reply to by Hisangel

Hmmm... 262 area you say? That's Wisconsin (Milwaukee) area code... I really don't know because I haven't really ever heard Wisconsin scam complaints before... :/
October 13, 2016
My friend contacted me to say the same thing happened to them re: She got a text from a TN area code number that she didn't recognize (I didn't k ow it either) and it said that I (using my full name) had sent her an invitation to view a link. Clearly it wasn't from me. Unfortunately, she clicked on it and she said it was some very lewd, inappropriate material! Kinda freaked out now!
Hate Spam
October 18, 2016
I just received a text message from 410-513-9836 stating I was selected as a lump sum winner of one million dollars. Ok ummmm no thanks!!! I sent the text message to 7726 and they responded back with a message stating: "Thank you for reporting spam. Please reply with the sender's number. Messages sent to 7726 are shared with security providers to help prevent spam". I sent back the number and got another message "Thank you, we appreciate your assistance. To immediately block messages from this sender please visit>My Verizon>Block Calls and Messages.
October 22, 2016
I keep getting text messages saying to "reply to this to receive 779.00" note:it is not a link simply a text they ask me ti reply to. I haven't done it but curious what this is. Im sure that's the basis if the business ti peak people's curious side. Any clue ehat this is?
November 16, 2016
My husband just got a text message that said Hello Dave (his name) you have received an invitation from - my full name - (my first, my maiden & my married name) 3 seconds ago to connect now http:// securevidboxx. com/ fin4vj45. The funny part is that I was standing right there while he received the message so it OBVIOUSLY wasn't from me. Now I'm worried.
November 17, 2016

In reply to by Inspctrgrl34

I just got one that says the same thing but from a random facebook friend that doesn't have my number. It wanted me to go to http:// securevidboxx. com/ fln4vavw.
November 17, 2016

Very similar experience to that of Inspctrgrl34. I got a text message on my cell supposedly from an old friend LK who lives in WV. From: 406-668-4054 Hello R you have received an invite from LK 4 minutes ago to connect now http:// securevidboxx. com/fln4twz6. My friend LK doesn't know anything about this. When I pasted the web address into a search engine it did not come up with any matches. Very odd.

November 29, 2016
Very similar to Inspctrgrl34, also from my significant other.. TXT said, "Hi (my name) you have an invitation from (SO name) 6 minutes ago to connect now" then it had a link to
April 07, 2017

My whole family received a strange message to get something from an "appstore. com/ mustknow". Scarey is they know all the our names 15706898925: mr xxxxxx, a friend wants to ask you a question on Mustknow, the anonymous Q&A app. Get it here: https:// appstore. com/ mustknow

Where is Hope Now?
December 03, 2016
Wasn't Obama supposed to fix this and the "do not call list" -- neither of which works. Oh but all the homeless people now have free healthcare, while working people's premiums go thru roof. We're still in Guantanemo, Afghanistan, Iraq, wasting billions rebuilding countries that hate USA while our country crumbles. What a legacy.
December 19, 2016
Did anyone ever figure out what the source is and how to stop the messages? Specifically for the "x mins ago to connect" one that specifically says their name and your full name? A random one was just sent to my coworker. I don't understand.
December 21, 2016
I got a text message some time ago and then another one this morning which gives my gf's alias and my physical address in the message, then a hyperlink to follow which I did not do. (internet safety 101) I checked out the site using my unsynced tablet and it was a custom made page which greeted her by her known alias. The site purports it to a tax debt relief service. I showed it to my gf and now we are both creeper out.
January 30, 2017
"You were just mentioned on UChat by someone from your school! See who!" with a link, etcetc. Fishy.
March 13, 2017

In reply to by happycat019

Just had the same thing happen to me. Do not call the number or click the link. Scam alert
January 31, 2017
They knew my nickname, that only my friends call me!
February 11, 2017
I keep getting texts just saying my first and last name with my address.. then there is a link. I have not clicked on it. But it's very scarey.
February 16, 2017

I received a text that said Hi, I'm Ann Mcdermott. I want to donate to you. for info contact my private email- then a link to the email. On a different device I emailed asking what that was about, which was probably unwise of me. Instead of a number from the text it was like a username from nycap. rr. com and the username was a bunch of numbers. Freaked me out, anyone know what this is about? Advice?

February 22, 2017

In reply to by Anonymous

I got the same one, except mine said Toni Fish was the name used, same message and same text username. I also emailed back from a separate device? should I be worried?? I did not click the link to the email address in the text. but I am worried since I emailed from my home desktop....
February 18, 2017
I get random texts from strangers who claim they saw my ad and seemingly just want to chat. We exchange texts pretty much talking about nothing. Funny thing, I don't have a personal ad, but I just go with it for a few minutes. I think it's my ex. When I call the numbers, the person doesn't pick up, I get their TextMe or TextNow voicemail.
March 01, 2017
Reported to 7726 - getting texts and calls the last 48 hours, not sure what got the ball rolling. I have not updated the Don't Call list in years
March 23, 2017
I entered into a survey thing and it asked for my address so i did and they called me and told me I won and asked how old i am and stuff Im really scared