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AARP Virginia issues fraud alert: The Rise of Smishing

If you have a cell phone, you’ve probably noticed an increase in text messages from people you don’t know.

This is particularly concerning, given how effective smishing is as a scam tactic. The Federal Trade Commission reported $330 million in losses last year to fraudulent texts. We know this is just a fraction of losses, given vast underreporting by fraud victims. With smishing scams on the rise, here’s what you need to know.

Do not engage with texts from unknown people. Rather than clicking on text links, type the web address you know to be legitimate into your browser. Alternatively, call the alleged sender at a number you know to be legitimate. Also, you can filter out junk texts by updating your phone’s messaging app settings, using call-blocking services through your wireless carrier, or installing call-blocking apps.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.

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