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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.

387 Comments


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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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

googlygoo93
March 22, 2016
Got a text message this morning from an email stating that money was donated to me (I think, it didn't have dollar signs but am assuming). There was no link but there was an email they said I should contact. No clue what's going on or how someone got my number, as I don't give it out to many people. Trying to find out who the email links to!
Jamie
April 11, 2016

Hello, I need help! I have gotten so many different confusing texts on my cellphone. now it is just a normal old school flip phone. the last message I received is from a random email address example(       ) and it sys something about Cialis and Viagra use special code Big bo*** to receive a deal on my order. no option to reply.. the next problem was from a local number saying click the link to video chat. I never clicked the link, but I did ask who it was. They never called me back or texted. I have uscellular, someone please help me

FTC Staff
April 11, 2016

In reply to by Jamie

If you get 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.
ETaq
August 01, 2021

In reply to by FTC Staff

I just received a text from a different number than the last one that says they have been trying to deliver something 3 times in a row on July 29th. I don't know what to do because I am expecting a delivery on an unfinished shipment. I don't want to click on the link. HELP!
Moe 2016
April 20, 2016

All 4 phones on my account received a text message this morning from 1(410) 100-001 with a link to a YouTube page. None of us clicked on the link but I went on YouTube to see if I can find what this was and it appears to be a darn political ad talking about how "first time in decades we have a somebody with INTEGRITY".

The name "Jim" appears in the from section and the subject line is "Together" along with the link 

I contacted AT&T (well, I reported it to 7726 for SPAM.) The thing that really ticked us off was that the messages came in at 4AM while we were all sleeping! Thinking that it was sent to us since we live in Pennsylvania and the Primary is this week (I think). Still, messages were unwanted and I would love to punch the idiot responsible for sending them! :)

ScamAware
May 22, 2019

In reply to by Moe 2016

I got a text message from this same number (410100001) saying that my debit card has been under “unauthorized use” and claimed to be from Wells Fargo, nice try.
Julie68
April 20, 2016
I just received a text that has my home address and then a link I have never heard of. I don't want to click on it but I am curious. It is a 209 area code number which is no where near me.
jeanie
April 26, 2016
I have a random text message that says From Jim. Subject- together. And go to you tube address. Says first time in decades we have a somebody with integrity. Not going there. Figure they`re phishing.
This is BS!
April 27, 2016
727-245-0444 Sends text with my full name, address, and a link at 3AM.
grr143
April 28, 2016
I just got a text message with my name on it and then a link to a map to my address. I've also been getting constant calls from long distance numbers from everywhere. I started blocking calls, but they continue from different numbers
hillmillenia
May 16, 2016

In reply to by grr143

Got this same text Friday the 13th with my name and a map to my home...weird...it was a Georgia area code, I am in Oklahoma
happened to me too
May 19, 2016

In reply to by grr143

I just got the same thing. Didn't respond. Just deleted it
yet another scam
May 09, 2016
I have been receiving texts that at first I thought they were from a FB friend, text came via FB. I went to her page sent her a message and she had no idea what it was all about, I freaked her out in fact. What was really weird was that I replied to the text asking her if she could block me from the text message because I had already turned all notifications off and the texts were still coming through. What was really strange was the person text back 'don't know what your talking about ......" Used my given name, the only people who use this name are my family, everyone else that knows me uses my middle name. Tooooo weird! I just change my cell number.
not fooled
May 25, 2016
Received a text message from 470 435-7814. It contained my first and last name with my street address only ( no city or state)with a link to a website.
creepedout
May 25, 2016
Received text msg from 470-798-4975 in the following format: FIRSTNAME STREETADDRESS LASTNAME websitelink. Googled phone number, couldn't find anything. Searched website (not full link) also, site doesn't exist. Reported to 7726 and the blocked number on my phone. Glad this page is here, never seen this before and it really creeped me out.
strangestuff
May 28, 2016
Twice, text message sort-of, phone gives the sound that I have rec'd a text msg, when I check it only reads ..."New message" without a return number (or a blocked number I presume). And once, the phone buzzed, but no message of any kind.
soonergal
May 31, 2016
Just got a text from 8179089444 asking me simply to "try this code 7594"....of course I deleted it. Some # in the Ft. Worth area
AJ
June 08, 2016
I received a text message asking me to respond "yes" to a loan app. I'm trying to figure out if it has something to do with the car we just bought on a loan or if someone is trying to steal my identity. because they had even obtained a former home address.
im garce
June 09, 2016
this is stupid and im grace i live in a house
TiredoftheCalls
June 23, 2016
Received a call on my cell phone, didn't recognize the #, so I didn't answer. Within seconds, received a text from the same number with the message being just a last name...not mine and no one I know! Any clues for me?
Su
June 24, 2016
Text message from 646-681-4509 uses my first name and says a friend added me to an app called MyHeroes. There's a link. I deleted the message. Annoying.
Jayp
June 30, 2016
Recieved a text message from a 224 area code I believe the number was 2243042297. The text message had my full name address with a link attached www.olghef.com/Kuke I have no clue what this is and it's very scary
ctressler
July 01, 2016

In reply to by Jayp

If you get 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.

 

tarvana
July 12, 2016
I received a text from some random out of state phone number that I didn't know but it wasn't any kind of "Prize Notification" or anything like that. It had my street address (Without the city, state & zip) and my first and last name with a link to click on.
Tally
July 18, 2016
I got a text msg today. Claimed that I could possibly have received an inheritance from a deceased relative. Then it gives a link. Since I would never fall for this scam, I found this site to try to identify and expose the criminals who sent it.
Lisa
July 15, 2016
Keep getting random texts with my name and address I keep deleting them just got a text with the persons name and address that had this number ten years ago. (How long I've had it) I just keep deleting. What do you do if you don't use a major carrier anymore. I kept this number when I left T-Mobile
fed up
July 28, 2016
Just got two in a row from ohio numbers. Dang creepy that they use names and addresses as clearly criminals. 5672060030 and 2082699738. Oddly, after texting back we are authorities the text message with a web link disappeared from the 567 number, but have it screenshot. That number is a landline that rings, then goes busy. The other number says a nonworking number when call. How the hell can they delete text msg sent on our phone..is even creepier..but that is screenshot also...well..we are skilled enough to comeback at them and make them.paranoid as phruck..
babybone83
July 28, 2016
I just received a text from a registered phone number, however I don't know who this person or phone number is. There was a link attached: Is this link a scam? I appreciate anyones help! =)
Igotmyeyeonu
July 31, 2016

In reply to by babybone83

If you want to be safe and not sorry...simply DO NOT REPLY to texts from those you do not know. I keep getting texts to verify a former address. IT ONLY SAYS TO VERIFY 123 ANYTOWN RD. I simply delete them. So NOW I am sending to 7726.
j123
August 10, 2016
Has anyone ever received a text message verifying your full name and address saying that it is required documentation for internet site?
Meredith
August 22, 2016
I got a text from a number (413) 449 - 1158 and I found this site. I sent a text to 7726 (Spam) don't for get to add the phone number to the forward text or you have to resend it again to who you have your cell phone provider from.
Tracey
August 22, 2016

I went on Craigslist looking for an apartment.The scammers wouldn't let me call them or call me. Only via email. She wouldn't give me the address because she said that they had a string of break-ins'. She only replied to my 1st email and told me that they just wanted to know that I've had previous landlord history and to CLICK HERE.

I did and it took me to Google?? I tried to reach her but she never got back to me. I Googled Craigslist apartment scams and it was worded exactly how she did. Since then, I've received 3 texts with my name and address will links. I didn't go on any of them. I'm very concerned about the information that they have and if they can steal my identity. I'm not sure what to do from here. If anyone knows what I can do to prevent unauthorized use or theft, please let me know. I have boost mobile. So the above info won't help me. Thank you so much.

Deedee
August 22, 2016
I got 2 messahes ssying "hi" i arrived safely,operation rescheduled a few days..after i texted twoce your texting wrong person.a name and email .of vina rinehart..but in text mame reads gina smith. Reported it as spam. Hipefully, it goes,away...
SBradley
September 07, 2016
Just got one from 41782 stating my Chase online account has been suspended and provides a link for me to restore. I don't have a Chase online account.
Me too
September 12, 2016

In reply to by SBradley

Same number, same message. Only I do have a Chase account and I was able to log in just fine. I'm forwarding their fraud department the information.
Tbird517
September 07, 2016
Just got tw text messages back to back from 740-762-3185 with my first name, maiden name and an old address from 10 years ago! What the heck!?
justme
September 13, 2016
Got a random text today from an unknown out of state number, with my abbreviated name and address with the word heya!!! What the heck? It freaked me out, but I decided to call the number, got a busy signal. Then found this site, so I'm assuming (which I did when I first saw it) it's some kind of scam...I just don't like these creeps knowing where I live!
coach ryan
September 14, 2016
Just received a text message from bit.ly that said "this one is about to explode." How do I report something that didn't come from a number?
Kalynn
September 15, 2016
Just received a random text from 936-546-1956 "Do this with me and an imbedded link. I did not click the link. It contained my last name and birth year. Deleted the message.
Kayleah
September 27, 2016
Just received a text message from bit.ly that said "A breakout in the making?"
Caligal
September 28, 2016

Just got this one and reported it.... Number from; (855) 999-4703 You were just added to UChat by someone from your school! See who!

Kat
October 11, 2016

In reply to by Caligal

Got a similar message from (855)999-4718. "Looks like you have an admired! Someone from your school just added you on UChat, see who!" with a tinyurl.com link.
Jovi
October 15, 2016

In reply to by Kat

I just received the same type message but mine was from 855-999-4715. I don't even know what uchat is.
Ana
November 14, 2016

In reply to by Jovi

Same. "Someone from your school just added you on UChat! See who!" (855)999-4705 Very likely a scam.

TG
December 11, 2016

In reply to by Ana

I just got a similar text with a Google link.
Name
December 11, 2016

In reply to by Ana

Similar message, except from (888)-970-3959.