TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians of a new scam that swindlers are using to swipe the personal information of consumers via text message.
Scammers are now posing as companies and offering consumers free gift cards as an award for paying their bills on time. The scam, which is deployed over text message, provides consumers with a link and forwards them to a website where they are prompted to enter their personal information.
Gift cards, though, are never delivered and swindlers use the scam to steal a consumer’s personal data.
“Scammers will try anything to steal your personal information. Their latest trick is simple, but effective — the promise of a gift in exchange for personal information,” Moody said Thursday in a statement. “Don’t fall for it.”
Robocall overload:Florida joins feds to target illegal caller ID spoofing and robocalls
Taking action:Keep getting calls from numbers you don’t know? Here’s how to limit disruptive robocalls
Can you be scammed by opening a text message?
Floridians can follow several tips to prevent themselves from falling victim to a scam. Moody said Floridians should never click on link delivered by an unknown sender. Consumers should also avoid sending personal or financial information in an unsolicited text.
“Remember that if something seems too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam,” Moody said.
Moody added that Floridians can double check a company’s phone number on their official website. Often times, she warned, simply responding to a scammer can lead to more messages in the future.
Where to get updates about Florida bogus phone calls and scams
The Florida Attorney General website provides regular updates on local scams and emerging trends.The Better Business Bureau is also aware of the scam.
“In some versions of the scam, you may be directed to a website asking you to “confirm your identity,” so you can receive the gift,” they warn. “Scammers may also ask for your credit card information, claiming you need to pay a few dollars to ship the “free” gift.”
Floridians sadly are no stranger to scammers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Floridians in 2021 loss million to swindlers due to a slew of scams including identity theft and imposter scams.
Online dating scams are on the rise, FBI and FTC warn. Here are some red flags.
The report shows prize and sweepstakes scams ranked among the top ploys used by fraudsters in Florida.
Floridians can report suspected scams to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or filing an online complaint.
Jason Delgado is a reporter for the USA Today Network-Florida. He’s based in Tallahassee. Reach him at JDelgado@gannett.com