Home More News ‘Tis the Season for Food, Family and Fake Holiday Text Messages

‘Tis the Season for Food, Family and Fake Holiday Text Messages

By Samuetta Hill Drew

Usually with the onset of the Christmas holidays I would write a safety series on holiday decorations and food preparation. Where these topics are important and have some real safety measures which should be practiced, there is a need to address another equally as serious holiday safety threat in 2023. This safety threat is also real and very costly – fake holiday text message scams.

Modern technology is helpful to us in our daily lives in a multiplicity of ways. Yet, this same helpful modern technology has enabled thieves to have direct access to us on a common device used constantly by adults as well as children – our cell phones. Therefore, our next safety series will explore how thieves are using our cell phone text message capabilities to scam people during the holidays and beyond.

Unfortunately, holiday scams are especially dangerous because they can take numerous different forms. So, watch out for social media ads that lead you to fake online stores, fake delivery notification texts, fraudulent charities that steal your money, bogus deals on hard-to-find items or airline tickets and fake surveys, giveaways, and other phishing emails impersonating well-known brands. These are a few of the most popular ones.

Last year alone, there was a record of a 58 percent increase in spam text messages. These text scammers sent over 87 billion texts and stole more than 10 billion dollars from their victims. Nearly 75 percent of Americans experienced at least one type of holiday scam last year.

Believe it or not, those individuals between the ages of 18 to 24 are the most vulnerable, but no matter the age we all can fall prey to these scammers if we are not properly equipped with safety prevention measures. I’ll use several professional sources for this series.

This new safety series will discuss many topics including the following ones with examples:

  • Have You Just Received a Scam or Spam Text?
    • Example: A fake Netflix text message that almost worked.
  • How to Identify a Fake Text Message in 5 Easy Seconds.
  • 10 Scams and Spam Text Message Examples
  • What Happens If You Open or Respond to a Fake Text Message?
  • Did You Click on a Text Scam or Spam Link? Do This Right Away.
  • How To Protect Yourself from Text Scammers and Hackers.
  • The Bottom Line: Avoid Fake Text Message Scams.

Next week we will begin taking a deeper dive on these topics so you can help Keep an Eye on Safety for you and your loved ones.