Here’s another good tip to pass along to your kids or others who might be too trusting or vulnerable.
FBI El Paso Special Agent Jeanette Harper explains:
We’ve all seen these text messages. The texts addressed to someone else pops up on your phone about either a business meeting, veterinarian appointment, or a friendly get-together. You text back “Sorry, wrong number.” And then the unknown person continues the friendly conversation and tries to establish a friendship with you through innocent conversation.
The scammers behind the fake wrong-number text messages are counting on you to continue the conversation. They want to exploit your friendliness. Once they’ve made a connection, they’ll work to become friends or even cultivate a remote romantic relationship. It’s all a ruse, designed to get you to relax your mistrust so you’ll be more susceptible to falling for their scam, such as a cryptocurrency investment or many others targeting victims.
Though they’re posing as regular people who entered the wrong numbers on their phones, the scammers who run fake wrong-number text scams use extremely sophisticated technology to commit their crimes.
Protect yourself by not responding to unknown text messages. Don’t click on any links in the messages or respond with “STOP” if the messages say you can do this to avoid future messages. Block the phone number.
If you have been victimized by an online crime, make a report to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call the FBI El Paso Field Office at (915) 832-5000.