Wrong Number Text Scam Targets Floridians

Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians about texting scams that entice victims with suggestive messages. The scam is commonly referred to as the wrong number text scam. Floridians being targeted by a version of the scam in Charlotte County are calling it the awkward text scam, as messages recently received contain a picture of a young woman asking to meet targets for a “spicy night.” Attorney General Moody is issuing a warning to Floridians to never click on links sent from unfamiliar phone numbers.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We often warn about imposters who pose as law enforcement or government officials to intimidate targets into parting with money or personal information. But imposters don’t just pose as authority figures, they can also act as potential love interests or friends. These scammers will try anything to get you to download malware or give up personal information. The best advice to avoid these wrong number text scams is to never engage with strangers online or respond to messages from unknown senders.”

The Better Business Bureau posted an example of a wrong number scam text message:

“Hello, are you John? It’s Amanda. We chatted on Tinder before when I came to visit my cousin but we never met IRL. I’m back in town if you want to meet up this time, are you free?”

The version of the scam seen in Charlotte County reads:

“You forgot to call last night after the bar. I really hoped we would have a spicy night.”

These messages are being seen across the country and, if responded to, can lead to inappropriate pictures and phishing links being sent.

To avoid wrong number text scams, Attorney General Moody recommends that Floridians:

  • Do not click on any links from an unknown sender—these links often contain malware or other harmful sites;
  • Refrain from responding, as replying alerts the scammer that the number is active and scammers will text and call more frequently;
  • Block the number and delete the message; and
  • Never send personal or financial information to an unknown messenger.

For more information about romance scams, similar to the wrong number text scam, view Attorney General Moody’s Scams at a Glance: Swindling Sweethearts resource by clicking here.

The Better Business Bureau provides further tips on how to spot red flags of fake text messages. For more information, click here.

To report wrong number text scams, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center here, or visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Report Fraud website here.

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