BBB warns of coronavirus text messaging scam

Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 1:46 PM EDT
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A new scam is using the coronavirus scare to target people through text messages, according to the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia.

Scammers send text messages with a URL address that encourages mobile users to claim emergency money for groceries due to the current coronavirus outbreak.

The URL then sends the mobile user to malicious sites that steal their information like email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, bank information, and money.

The BBB warns people to be aware of these timely and tech-savvy cons that are masquerading as trustworthy companies and government agencies.

To protect yourself from these scams the BBB encourages people to set up the option to filter and block messages from unknown senders or spam on their



A wireless provider can also have tools or services to block calls and text messages, the BBB said.

Mobile users can also download a call-blocking app for your



If you do fall victim to this type of text message scam the BBB recommends taking the following steps:

  • Contact your banking institutions to report fraud and cancel credit cards used for all transactions or connected to the mobile device
  • Inform your cell phone carrier of the fraudulent number and incident
  • Block the phone number from your phone
  • Change your passwords on sensitive apps such as online banking, social media, and any other space with personal information stored

If you are receiving unwanted text messages there are three ways to report it, according to the BBB:

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