I received a text saying that AT&T accidentally surcharged my account last month.

My first reaction: who in the heck is texting me at 06:27??

My second reaction: where are my glasses??

My third reaction: not today, Satan!!

It's a scam, and here's how you can tell.

First of all, the number the text originated from is a real-looking phone number, with an area code and everything. (I blotted out the number with a red marker because, as often is the case, the number is probably "spoofed", and may well be an innocent person's real phone number.) When AT&T sends you a text, it will have more of a "code" than a phone number.

Also, when AT&T wants to reimburse you for an overcharge (how likely is THAT to happen?!??!), they will make that happen on your bill.

If AT&T were to notify you of a problem with your bill, it would direct you to its website (www.att.com), not a website that is a bunch of nuts and bolts, like the one in the text.

AT&T has a page on its website that deals specifically with this issue. AT&T calls this type of message SMiShing (phishing, but through messages, or SMS).

SMiShing is phishing that uses texting to lead you to fake websites that imitate real companies. Fraudsters use this and other scams to get personal info. AT&T

Had I clicked on the link, it could have done one of two things: it could have taken me to a website that looks exactly like AT&T's login page, or it could have installed malware on my device.

If it had taken me to the fake AT&T website, it could have possibly gotten me to "verify my identity" by putting in my bank information or other personal information that scammers could use to get to my money.

If it had installed malware on my device, it could have put a virus, spyware, or ransomware that records my keystrokes that would give a hacker all the information he or she needs to access all of my accounts. Not good, right?

I don't really mind getting this kind of text ONLY because it reminds me to NEVER TRUST TEXT OR EMAIL LINKS! Always go to the source! If you get an email or text from ANY business with which you deal, be it a bank, an insurance company, a phone company, or any other utility, open a new window and TYPE IN THAT COMPANY'S WEB ADDRESS YOURSELF. That way, when you log in, you'll know that you are safe and secure.

Maybe.

Because it's the internet: you're never 100% safe and secure.

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