LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning Michigan residents to look out for text message scams, known as “smishing” – a form of criminal activity attempting to obtain personal or financial information. In a consumer alert that was reissued today, Nessel provides tips on how Michiganders can spot and stop smishing attempts.
While smishing is used for several different types of scams, most recently criminals have used this format to send bogus COVID-19 vaccine surveys. According to the Federal Trade Commission, people across the country have reported getting texts out of the blue, asking them to complete a limited-time survey about the vaccine. In exchange, people are offered a free reward and then informed they must pay a shipping fee, which requires bank account or credit card information. This is a scam. Do not fall for it.
“Scammers are continuing to prey on our fears and concerns surrounding the ongoing pandemic. As a result, they are attempting to use the vaccine rollout to bamboozle people out of their personal information. Do not fall for these tactics,” said Nessel. “Never click on any unsolicited links or attachments that you may receive via text, and if offered a prize or reward, never enter your credit card, bank account information, or any other personally identifiable information to collect it.”
If you get a suspicious text or email, remember:
- Click on any links or open attachments
- Give out bank account, credit card, or personal information
- Report smishing texts to 7726 (SPAM) for investigation
- Filter unwanted text messages through your wireless provider or with a call-blocking app
As always, your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away.A library of consumer alerts and additional resources are available 24/7 by clicking here. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or by calling 877-765-8388.