Someday the thieves will stop getting smarter — but, sadly, that day isn’t here yet.  Scam spam text messages are increasing in numbers and sophistication — the good news is that more people and companies are paying attention and they’re publicizing alerts and safety tips in “real time”.   I’m trying to keep up on the emerging scams and the advice from experts so I can post all of that as “heads up” for all of you.  These new scams happen so quickly that we’ve all got to be extra careful to protect our sensitive, very valuable (to criminals) personal information.

So what’s the latest scam version?  Will Oremus posted a blog on April 13th at http://www.slate.com talking about a new twist spammers are using.  His article is titled “Hell Phone –Is There Any Way to Stop Annoying Text Message Spam?” (go to the “Tech” heading and you’ll find his article).  Mr. Oremus highlights the spammers’ latest trick — and it’s a trick that could fool most of us into believing that the text message is legit.  Their text messages now contain phony and confusing privacy statements as well as fine print consent forms that make it appear that the “offer” is a real one.  You enter all of your personal information and credit card number so you can get the product allegedly being offered.

And what do you get?  No product but charges on your credit card and charges for the text messages you used in answering the scammers.  In his article, Mr. Oremus includes many of the suggestions in the articles to which I referred in my April 6th and 8th blogs on this topic.  He also includes other very helpful information so I encourage you to read his article.

But the bottom line is the same good guidance we’ve heard before — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  The new wrinkle with scam text messages is we shouldn’t even call back the number from which the message is sent — by doing that, the spammers know they reached a working mobile number which they can then sell and/or share with other spammers.