Scam Squad: don’t click on that link you just got in a text message

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 10:16 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - If you get an unexpected text, the Cuyahoga County Scam Squad warns you not to click on that link.

More and more scams are being sent straight to your smart phone.

You may get messages with offers like free gifts for paying your bill or texts warning you have a virus on your phone.

“They’re all flavors of scams, and they’re things that used to be delivered by emails and robocalls, now people are getting more texts by scams,” said Sheryl Harris, the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs director.

Harris also runs the Scam Squad, a county-wide task force.

“These things are really tempting, and they’re designed to be tempting and get us to click. So the more alarming it is—'there’s a problem with your account, you need to act now, or your driver’s license is in jeopardy, click here,’” she said.

The Ohio BMV is even warning people to be on the lookout for text messages that look official, saying “you are required to update your Ohio BMV profile now.”

19 Investigates also found PNC Bank is warning cybercriminals are targeting customers, reaching out by text, using PNC’s name.

Harris recommends watching out for key phrases like:

  • There’s a problem with your account
  • You’ve earned a gift or refund
  • There’s a delivery issue with a package, and
  • There’s a work-from-home job waiting for you.

“It’s like almost the more tempting it is, the more likely it is to be a scam,” Harris said.

If you click on a scam link, two things could happen.

You could be sent to a spoof site that will capture your private information or malware could infect your phone.

If it’s too late, and you clicked on a scam link, you can call the Cuyahoga County Scam Squad to report it at 216-443-SCAM (7226).

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