Messaging apps allowed us to connect with anyone locally or internationally. But along with the convenience of messaging and free texting, scammers are also having a convenient time targeting different victims.
This is why be wary when receiving messages from strangers. You might be a target and you haven’t realized it.
With that, here are the 5 most common messaging scams, and what you should do when you’ve been targeted.
Check the quick rundown below. For a much in-depth discussion, scroll down for more.
For this type, you’ll get a message from an anonymous person saying that they know your secret. If they lead you on, they’ll try to ask for money to keep their mouth shut.
What to do: Ask about the ‘secret’. Don’t go on full panic mode. Check if the person is bluffing. If the person does have information about you, inquire to the authorities and try to trace this person.
You will receive a text from your messenger stating that he/she is a philanthropist that’s willing to give away some money to the ones who have received the message. The “Samaritan” might ask you to click a link or submit some information, so you can claim your money. Little did they know, they are stealing your data.
What to do: Ignore the message. Don’t click any links or give out personal information. No rich samaritan will just hand over money to random strangers.
With this type, you’ll receive a random message from your bank saying that there’s an emergency going on and they will need you to send some details. It’s either they let you click a link, submit a form to a phishing site ask for your details directly.
What to do: Check the receiver if it’s a legitimate number from your bank. You can also inquire about your trusted contact on the bank and ask them if there actual emergencies.
One of the most common scams, the scammer will send you a message stating that you’ve won a raffle. You’ll need to reply with your personal data or mobile load, so you can get the prize.
What to do: Check if you actually joined in any online raffle or contest. If you haven’t joined anything, then simply ignore the message.
The ones I’ve mentioned above are short-term scams, which means everything is done as quick as possible. On the other hand, catfishing is more in the long-term.
Catfishing is a type of scam wherein the scammer poses as someone else to lure someone to have a social media relationship with them. Now, once the victim is smitten and is having a “relationship” with the scammer, the scammer will try to ask for money on the victim.
What to do: Be wary of vague profiles on the internet. If you’ve been talking for quite some time, you can ask the person for a call or video call. Also, don’t give out money for people you haven’t met in real life yet.