Unwanted text messages: How senders are getting your information

Posted at 6:45 AM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 09:45:39-04

Getting unwanted text messages on your cell phone? You're not alone.

Dave Rosazza contacted the Let Joe Know team after he got a message he says raised a lot of red flags. It was sent to his cell phone asking if he would like to sell his house, identifying it with the correct address.

Rosazza says there was no way he was thinking of selling it because he had just bought it a few months ago. His concern was: how did the senders get the combination of his cell phone number and address?

Cybersecurity Expert Morey Haber with BeyondTrust, says as much as you might think information like your name and address are private, it's not.

"Those are all available in public records," Haber said. "It's the linkage to a phone number that can occur from an existing data breach."

In addition to a potential hack, Haber says there are legitimate ways to get information like lists sold to telemarketers.

"If you have received a text message of this nature, don't reply. Just delete it," Haber said.

He says hackers can take over your phone just by you clicking a link.

"If you do make the mistake of clicking on them, do not fill out any sensitive information," Haber said. "That can be used in further attacks."

Also, if you call the number that messaged you, be aware! They could be part of the scam, acting as a company to get your information or your money.

Haber says credit monitoring services can provide some comfort that you haven't fallen victim to the scammers.

To stop unwanted messages: