Suffolk Legis. Steve Stern, D-Huntington, is warning residents about another scam.
"Smishing" scammers send potential victims text messages congratulating them for winning gift cards and directing them to sites masquerading as major retail sites. They include such stores as Best Buy, Target and Walmart. There, victims are told to enter personal information such as name, cellphone number, mailing address and other personal information.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently issued a warning on such scams, advising consumers that this information is used in identity theft operations and to target advertising. BBB recommends that recipients of such texts ignore such messages and to avoid even any link to remove a phone number from the distribution list.
Any response validates the contact information for the scammer.
You can forward any “smishing” texts to 7726 (SPAM) to alert your mobile carrier to block future texts from these numbers. “We have all received texts congratulating us for “winning” a gift card,” Stern said. “Legitimate retailers do not send out texts soliciting personal information. Scammers use very sophisticated looking websites to fool people into providing this information.”
Visit www.bbb.org/scam-stopper for more information about how to protect yourself from text and email scams.