Protecting yourself from scam tactics

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Something as simple as a text message can leave your bank account empty or in overdraft status. Here’s what you need to know: It starts with fraudsters sending unsolicited texts. They ask for a re-delivery fee of a package. This item may even be something that was never even ordered in the first place.

“We call all of those smishing scams,” said Postal Inspector Ryan Amstone.

Amstone says smishing scams are like phishing scams which involve sending unsolicited messages. The scammer’s goal is to take your personal information, then they can access your money.

“The objective is for the criminals to receive personal identifiable information about the victim and some of those things include account numbers, usernames, passwords,” said Amstone.

Amstone and law enforcement say you should not respond and don’t click strange links. You should treat all unsolicited messages as a scam.

“So every phone call, every email, every text message that asks for your information approach it as if somebody just came up to your door and asked for your social security number. You wouldn’t do that so don’t do it any other way,” said Lieutenant Steven Sommers. Sommers works in the detective bureau for the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

Sommers adds that if you do become a victim, you should report it to your bank . You should also contact the attorney general’s office in the state you live in.