The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning the public about text messages from unknown numbers and photos of a young woman that are making the rounds nationwide and several local consumers have reported being targeted by this scam.
According to the BBB, the text messages all begin in a similar manner — the sender claims to have met the recipient before and wishes to meet up. The texts contain photos, usually a young blonde or redheaded woman. When the recipient replies, the sender pretends to have accidentally sent the text to the wrong number but continues to send messages.
Officials with the BBB warn consumers that these supposed wrong number texts are coming from chatbots, and it is best to not respond. By responding, officials say the recipient inadvertently confirms their phone number is valid, which could lead to scammers selling their number to advertisers. They note scammers also use chatbots to attempt to gain personal and/or financial information from victims.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid chatbot scams:
– Ignore texts from strangers. If you receive a text from someone you don’t know, don’t reply.
– Block numbers that appear to come from scammers. Unsolicited texts that look like they come from a chatbot or that ask you to click on suspicious links are probably not safe. Block these numbers to prevent scammers from contacting you through them again.
– Never give your personal information to strangers. Never share your credit card or banking information, your full name, home address, or social security number with someone you never met in person. Remember that any photo you upload on social media can be stolen and used by a scammer.
BBB serving Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky was founded in 1916 and serves 44 counties in Kentucky and eight counties in Southern Indiana.
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