[nfbwatlk] FW: Beware of Cell Phone Scams!

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 25 16:09:56 UTC 2011





Dear Jacob,

<http://capwiz.com/mywireless/utr/1/AHMBQMFUER/CVGTQMISSM/7273143936>  is
always on the lookout for wireless consumers and we want to warn you about a
recent increase in online and wireless scams.


This scheme involves scammers calling a customer's phone, letting it ring
once or twice and then disconnecting the call so that the number remains on
your call log. Sometimes they might leave a voicemail. The number shows up
as a missed call and is typically a normal three-digit area code that would
appear to be a U.S. number, but it's actually an international number. For
example, 809 is the Dominican Republic, 876 is Jamaica, 284 is the British
Virgin Islands, and so on. When you return the call, you're automatically
routed to an international adult entertainment or chat line in a non-U.S.
Caribbean island location, where you can quickly rack up expensive charges.
While major wireless companies work to block suspicious numbers on their
networks, and most have consumer education systems in place to identify and
combat these threats, these scams originate outside the reach of U.S.
regulators and wireless providers.

Tips to Keep You Safe:

*	Always check the area code before returning a missed call to ANY
unknown caller. 

*	Be skeptical about area codes you don't recognize. 

*	Be aware that there are numerous three-digit area codes (mostly in
the non-U.S. Caribbean Islands) that connect callers to an international
phone number. 

*	Don't respond to text messages or calls from unknown sources. Delete
them immediately. 

*	If you don't regularly make international calls, ask your wireless
carrier to block international calling. 


This scheme is called 'Smishing', which is a combination of 'Short Message
Service' text messaging and email 'Phishing'. It involves your responding to
what appears to be a legitimate text message you received, even though it's
from a number you most likely don't recognize. Doing this can place yourself
at greater risk for identity or information theft at the hands of crafty
cyber thieves. This simple bait-and-hook fraud allows crooks to use
auto-dialing or roll-texting computer programs to text you on your wireless
device. The message encourages you to click a link or call the number back
(the bait). The message often is based on some urgent action, such as
"NOTICE! Hurry, your credit card has been deactivated or suspended. Go to
this link for help!" Maybe you're in a hurry, or maybe the message looks
like it's from a trusted source such as your bank. However, when you visit
the website (the hook), you've unwittingly given the criminals access to
your device, and they can attach dangerous spyware, malware, viruses, or
spam to your device that gives them control of it and instant access to your
personal (possibly financial) data.

Who's Looking Out for You and What Should You Do?

*	The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has consumer advisories
on international
<http://capwiz.com/mywireless/utr/1/AHMBQMFUER/JTYJQMISSN/7273143936>  and
text  <http://capwiz.com/mywireless/utr/1/AHMBQMFUER/FPHBQMISSO/7273143936>
message scams. 

*	The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also provides information on
phone  <http://capwiz.com/mywireless/utr/1/AHMBQMFUER/MPXNQMISSP/7273143936>
scams and spam
<http://capwiz.com/mywireless/utr/1/AHMBQMFUER/KYDCQMISSQ/7273143936> . 

*	The National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) and the Better Business
Bureau (BBB) say these scams can potentially cost victims lots of money, and
continue to monitor these illicit activities. 

*	All major U.S. wireless companies invest substantial resources
developing and implementing spam blocking technologies so you can safely use
your device with your personal and financial data secure. But as SMS and MMS
messaging usage continues to increase, they recommend to always use caution
when you see a suspicious message or unknown contact pop up. 

*	If you believe you've unwittingly been a victim of a scam like this,
contact your carrier immediately. You should also file a complaint with the
FCC and/or FTC, and report the activity to the NFIC and BBB to help save
other consumers from becoming wireless call/text scam victims. 

Thank you for taking time today to educate yourself on these potentially
costly and dangerous issues. MyWireless.org promises to remain vigilant for
you, and let you know when these unfortunate issues arise.



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