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Be Informed!

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Frauds and Scams

Copied from April 2023 AARP.Org/Bulletin

"Oops, Wrong Number! Texts

Seemingly misdirected messages are increasingly the start of a scammer's ploy.

The Con:  A text message addressed to someone else pops up on your phone.  It seems urgent - a rescheduled business meeting, an illness, sometimes even a romantic get-together.  (A version circulating in Florida concerned meeting up for a 'spicy night,' the state's attorney general warned.) Since you're a helpful person, you text back, "'Sorry, wrong number!' The scammer - or often an automated chatbot that sends out computer-generated messages - keeps up the friendly texts.  They may eventually invite you to join an adult website to see revealing pictures, so you hand over credit card info and money.  'Scammers are primarily aiming to find phone numbers where people are willing to engage,' says a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spokesperson.  'They might then use that to try to get personal information or sell or reuse the number as a target for another scam.'

PROTECT YOURSELF:  Don't respond to texts from numbers you don't recognize. Simply delete them.  Don't click on links in them or respond with "STOP" if the messages say you can do this to avoid future messages.  Instead, block the phone numbers they come from."

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