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  • CompServ

Scams Come By Text Messages As Well

Text Scams are just as dangerous as email scams.

  • Note the International phone number

  • Note the http:// link they are trying to get you to click

  • Note the Urgent wording

  • Note there is NO identification of sender

NEVER! Reply - Phone or Click the Link in this type of message!

Text scams use similar tactics to email scams, where criminals impersonate legitimate companies to gain personal or financial information in order to steal from you, your family and friends. Text-based phishing, sometimes called smishing or SMS phishing, is more dangerous than email-based phishing, as it exploits:

  • People's tendency to treat text messages with a sense of urgency.

  • Few phones have spam and phishing filters on inbound text messages.

  • It's difficult on smartphones to check the validity of links before clicking.

Some ways to spot a Text Scam Text scams can be difficult to spot, particularly if the messages are sent by an organisation who would normally contact you by text. But, like email scams, there are some tell-tale signs. For example, there may be spelling mistakes, or the message may be sent from a different number than previous messages received from the same organisation, or from an overseas number. Stop and think. Is this for real? Be wary of any text message you're sent that requires you to react by clicking a link or making a phone call. Never click any links in texts from your bank. If in doubt, go directly to the website and login as normal. If there really is a problem you’ll have a message on the website telling you what to do. If there’s a number for you to call, check it matches with the one advertised online or on official documents you've received. And if you're asked for personal or financial information hang up immediately. We recommend reporting any instances of suspected text scam to your telecommunications provider, so they can investigate the matter and block the number if necessary. More information can be found on the Consumer Protection website, including a list of agencies who can help if you think you've been a victim of a scam.

What to do if you receive a scam

The first thing to do if you receive a suspected scam call is to hang up the phone. If you receive a suspected scam SMS, ignore the text message. Then, report the scam to your telecommunications provider as quickly as possible – even if you did not fall victim to the scam.

The telecommunications industry works together to combat scams.  There is now a process in place where scammer information is shared among all of the telecommunications operators which means scams can be blocked across all New Zealand networks. The quicker you report the scam, the more likely we can protect you and other Kiwis from being scammed.  

Our message is simple, if you receive a scam call or text message, tell your telco.

How to report a scam

Contact your telecommunications provider to let them know about the scam.

When reporting a scam, it is helpful if you can provide as much information as possible. Information that should be passed on to your telco includes the phone number that was used, the date and time you received the call or text message, and any other information that you received from the call e.g. who did they say they were, what they wanted you to do.

What to do if you have been scammed

If you have given personal information including sensitive or banking information to someone who you think is a scammer, contact the NZ Police immediately, as well as your telco.

Learn more about how to identify a scam call and a scam SMS.

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