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Tulsa BBB warns of scam text messages posing as cell service providers

Posted at 9:12 AM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 16:07:57-04

TULSA, Okla. — Scam text messages posing as your service provider are becoming common practice for thieves.

Karen Molt said she’s received a rash of text messages that appear to be from her cell provider, AT&T.

The context of the text demands payments, something Molt said she’s already made.

"I don't want to be taken advantage of either,” she said.

The message in question also states “We will lock your device soon. Please clear spam messages."

"I’m assuming that once you scan that, you are scanning a virus onto your phone,” Molt said.

Bryce Marshall with the Tulsa Better Business Bureau said Molt is right for trusting her gut.

“We see them all the time,” Marshall said. “I personally get them all the time."

Scam texts are making their rounds not only in Green Country but nationwide.

"Scammers get your numbers from either different websites that you've signed up for,” Marshalls said.

He said that info gets sold to third parties, making it easy for scammers to get a hold of you. The messages can be enticing, too. Some even promise a compensation.

"There are so many people that if they see a number or an entity that they are familiar with, that they click on them,” Molt said.

The consequences of clicking on a link sent to your phone vary. Marshall said they can sometimes be minor. Users will be sent to a fake website where they’ll be prompted to enter personal information. Sometimes it will ask for a friend’s information as well.

Marshall said that's a red flag. Do not enter your or anyone else’s personal information on an unfamiliar website. If you do, the scam could escalate.

“Unfortunately, some of the worst ones are when you go to a fake website that you put in financial information and this is when they grab a hold of one of your credit cards numbers, your banking institution, routing number, and account number.,” Marshall said.

This s could leave victims in financial ruin. Before you go clicking a link sent to your phone, the BBB advises you to think first.

“You want to first make sure you have a membership, let’s say with Amazon or Hulu, or something,” Marshall said. “If you don’t have a membership with them, of course, don’t click on it."

Consumers can also call the company the text appears to be from and ask them if they are sending out warnings or promotional content via text. Often, the company will be able to tell you if it is a scam.

To stay up to date on the scams in your area, you can track the most recent activity by visiting the BBB's scam tracker.

Watch the full story on 2 News Oklahoma on Wednesday at 6 a.m.

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