It’s a sad fact, but scamming has been going on since the beginning of mankind. It was Satan who deceived Eve into eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. It took just one bite to plunge humanity into the realm of death. 

The “snake oil” salesmen made a bundle, traveling the dusty backroads of America, offering a cure for what ails you. And in modern times, the internet and social media have fueled a new push of deceiving the uninformed masses who constantly scan their mobile devices to feed their desire for staying on top of things. 

Michigan’s Attorney General Issues Warning! 

The latest scam has gotten so bad that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a warning to residents of the Great Lake State. BEWARE OF SMISHING TEXT MESSAGES! 

Smishing is when the scammer entices the victim by claiming a victim must provide them with a password, account number, or even social security number to stop an alleged fraudulent transaction. Once this information is provided, the scammer can gain access to the device and any personal information stored on it, including email, bank, credit card, or other types of accounts including social media.

An Example of A Smishing Text

An example of "smishing".
Michigan Dept. of Attorney General


Ways To Protect Your Phone Number and Information 

  • Don't share your phone number unless you know the person or organization well.    
  • Don't assume a text is legitimate because it comes from a familiar phone number or area code.  Spammers use caller ID Spoofing to make it appear the text is from a trusted or local source.     
  • Don't provide personal or financial information in response to the unsolicited text or at a website linked to the message.   
  • Don't click on links in a suspicious text; they could install malware on your device or take you to a site that does the same.  
  • Don't reply, even if the message says you can "text STOP" to avoid more messages.  That tells the scammer or spammer your number is active and can be sold to other bad actors.   
  • Never follow a text's instructions to push a designated key to opt out of future messages.

8 Things To Do If You Paid A Phone Scammer

Merciless phone scammers are targeting unaware folks with schemes involving pleas for charity, car warranties, unpaid traffic tickets, you name it. The Federal Trade Commission says, "Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter what payment method you used to pay, the sooner you act, the better."
If you have paid one of these scammers and then realize you have been scammed, here are 8 tips from the Federal Trade Commission, on what to do if you have paid a scammer.

Gallery Credit: Brad Carpenter/Federal Trade Commission/Canva

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