(FreedomBeacon.com)- The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about a new tactic by cybercriminals looking to scam you out of your money. These cybercriminals are sending “wrong number” texts via chatbots as a way to trick people into signing up for dating or adult websites, or worse, provide personal financial information.
Here’s how it works. A person receives a text message that appears to be intended for someone else. The victim, thinking someone accidentally texted the wrong number, replies to the text letting the “person” know they have the wrong number. At that point, the chatbot attempts to lure the recipient into a text conversation. And because there is a sucker born every minute, some folks will get tricked by the bot into signing up to an adult website by using a credit card.
Currently, the scam runs a specific way. The victim receives a text from someone named “Amanda.” After the victim texts back to say the sender has the wrong number, the chatbot will reply, often starting with a few compliments. Then the bot (AKA “Amanda”) will follow up by offering an opportunity to see explicit photos of “herself” which are available at a linked website. The bot then tries to get a credit card number from the victim.
It all seems rather ham-handed, but apparently, some people are falling for it. Otherwise, why would the Better Business Bureau have to issue a warning?
The BBB also reminded consumers that giving a credit card number or any personal financial information to a stranger is only asking to become a victim of identity theft – or just downright theft.
The BBB warns that the scam may alter its tactics now that more people are catching wise to the current ploy. “Amanda” will transform into someone else and the backstory “Amanda” provides in the initial phishing text will be altered.
Even if the victim doesn’t get suckered into the scam to the point where he offers a credit card or signs up for a website, just replying to the text will guarantee that the victim will get hammered with even more of these “wrong number” scams.
The way to avoid this scam is simple. Whether the sender is “Amanda” or “Kitty” or “Tony Soprano,” never ever reply to “wrong number” texts. Instead, when you receive a text that appears to be sent to you by accident, delete it, block the phone number, and go on with your day.