Scammers offer fake prizes hoping to steal your account–Don’t get phished!

ID-100129794Your smartphone is full of information and entertainment. Unfortunately, it is also a way for scammers to get to you if you aren’t careful.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is reporting a utility scam by crooks who pretend to be with your telecommunications carrier. The scammers use a phishing attack hoping to trick you into entering account information so they can steal your account and make purchases.

The phishing attempt could be made through a phone call or text message. You may be directed to visit a phishing site to claim a credit, discount or prize worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The phishing website often contains the name of your phone company, with additional words or numbers, so it looks almost official.

The site is a replica of a telecommunication carrier’s site and requests login information as well as the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once they get that info, the crooks can use your account to order mobile phones and other merchandise.

In order to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks, BBB offers the following advice:

  • Never reply to unsolicited phone messages or click links provided in an email or text message. Even if the message appears to be from a trusted source, it could be an attempt to get your personal information or download malware to your computer. Hang up the phone or delete the email or text message immediately.
  • Verify the information. If you get an unsolicited message you think might be from your telecommunications carrier or other utility, call or email the company using contact information from your account statement. Never call a number left in an unsolicited phone, text or email message.
  • Avoid providing personal information. Do not provide or confirm any bank account, social security number, credit card or other personal information over the phone until you have confirmed the legitimacy of the call.
  • Report all suspicious behavior. If you have fallen victim to this scam, notify your telecommunication carrier and file a complaint with the IC3,