- THE UNKNOWN SENDER IS ASKING FOR YOUR BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS : Unless it’s someone you know and you know you’ve discussed a prior business with, and has earned your trust, giving your bank details to just anybody is financial suicide. Note that they will often offer you something in return for the detail, there must always be a value offered. Look beyond that. If it’s not something you’ve earned, it’s not for you.
- THE ONLY CONTENT IN THE SMS IS AN UNDEFINED LINK : Any SMS that comes with only a link to ‘God knows where’ is suspicious. Some of those links takes you to websites that are offensive or gets the sender paid for your visit while you might get trapped. To spice it up, they might include a sentence before telling you to click the link. Don’t be deceived, if the information provided is not worth checking for more, you probably don’t need it. Let it go.
- YOU’VE WON SOMETHING IN A PROMO YOU NEVER CONTESTED IN : This is undoubtedly a scam. How do I win 1 million Naira in a fruit juice promo when I don’t even drink juices, talk more of participating in the promo? If you ever get a message that you’ve won anything at all in a promo you know you never entered, discard it immediately. Don’t be enticed by the reward, it’s a pure scam. The only reason you can call the sender is if you want to let him know you’re past being scammed. But that still cost you though.
- YOU’RE REQUESTED TO DEPOSIT A LITTLE ‘PROCESSING FEE’ TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE : Okay, let’s say you are actually an active user of the service provided by the firm the message appears to come from or you did participate in the promo. If the SMS requests you to pay a sum of money into an account before you can claim your prize, it’s probably a scam. Many top companies and firms do not give you extra charges to claim a prize for a competition that possibly cost you something to win. You just have to let it be. If it’s real, they will keep contacting you, maybe true other means.
- AN OPT-IN OPTION TO AN SMS CAMPAIGN WITHOUT AN OPTION TO OPT-OUT : Every text message recipients have the right to decide either to subscribe to a business SMS campaign or not. They equally have an exclusive right to decide to opt-out of the plan if they decided they no longer need it. If the SMS you receive gives you a short code to opt-into an SMS campaign, and it has no provision for you to get out when you want to, don’t do it. They are holding you to ransom.
In the second part of this series, you will find 5 more ways to uncover a scam message with little or no difficulty.
The good news is that many GSM operators now have a filtering system that ensures words and word combinations that are scam related are not allowed either as sender IDs or in the content of a message. Learn about the words and word combination not allowed as sender IDs and those not allowed in the content of a message.
At SmartSMSSolutions, we also have an optimized system that works well in fighting this to a reasonable extent.
Feel free to use the comment box provided below to share with us other identifying marks of scam messages you’ve uncovered. We will appreciate it.