Sunday, November 15, 2020

Beware of Fraudulent Text Messages

UPDATE: Most cell phone carriers offer a service to help stop spam and fraudulent text messages. Forward the contents of the spam text message and send it to SPAM (7726). You will receive a response from your cell phone carrier once they receive the text message. iPhone users are able to report blue-bubble iMessage texts by clicking the "Report Junk" link that is shown when an unknown person sends you a message. You can find more details about reporting spam text messages at this link.

ITS has learned of several external schemes that start with a text message to a user's cell phone indicating that they are eligible for a $1200 stimulus payment.  The text messages typically provide a fraudulent website that attempts to solicit personal information which may include Social Security Number, banking information, or other personal information which can be used later by the attacker.

Sample Message:
"You have a pending direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment"

If you receive a similar message, simply delete it.  While it is unlikely that you will be contacted via text message regarding potential stimulus packages, we suggest validating similar message with state or federal government authorities rather than replying o the message.

Note: There is no indication that these fraudulent messages are related to Manhattan College.