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How to identify a fake text message?

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  • 3 min read

Fake text messages are a common way for scammers to trick you into giving them your money or personal information. The messages are formulated in such a way as to nudge you into clicking a link, downloading an attachment, or giving away your personal or financial information to the scammer on the other end.

To make the messages more trustworthy, criminals pretend to be from an organisation you trust, such as your bank, the government, or a delivery company.

In this article, we will talk about identifying fake text messages and protecting yourself from these scams.

Identifying a fake text message

Like all other phishing or scam communications, a fake text message can be hard to spot. But, as usual, there are some signs that you need to be aware of to identify these fake text messages. For example, fake text messages may:

  • have spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • use an urgent or threatening tone.
  • ask you to verify your account or update your details.
  • offer you a refund or a prize.
  • contain a link or an attachment that looks suspicious.
  • may have a suspicious sender’s address, like a long phone number that you have no idea about, or an unknown number.

Also read: Facebook marketplace scams explained

What should I do if I receive a fake text message?

If you receive a text message that seems suspicious or fake, your best course of action is to not reply to that message. Also, you shouldn’t click on any links or provide any information.

Instead, you should report the fake text message to your mobile phone provider. This will depend on your country and the provider. When you report these scammy messages, the companies will investigate the text’s origin and block or ban the sender if they are malicious. You can also report the fake text message to the organisation it claims to be from, such as your bank or the government. They may have a dedicated email address or phone number for reporting phishing attempts.

If you think you have lost money or other information due to responding to the fake text message, immediately file a police report to the cyber crime department of your country. For example, you can report such messages to the Federal Trade Commission’s report fraud page in the United States.

Fake text messages should be treated with caution as these are a serious threat to your online security and privacy. By being vigilant and adapting the best practices to counter online fraud, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to these scams.

Also read: How to identify WhatsApp scams?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: