Residents should be aware that scammers use text messaging to perpetrate fraud.

 

Recently, several residents in Ventura County received a text message from phone number (805) 766-4085. The text message displays a partial credit card number and instructs the receiver of the message to call the phone number.

The text message is being used to perpetrate fraud. These scammers are moving beyond victims’ email and targeting their text messages instead.

The scam, called “Smishing,” uses SMS technology, which is the underlying technology used to deliver a text message.

Scammers are trying to use urgency to get victims to call the phone number in the text message and provide their personal information, including their credit card number, username or password. This allows the scammer to access a credit card or bank account where they can conduct fraudulent transactions.

There is no way to block smishing messages. The best course of action is to be vigilant and look for suspicious text messages, just as one would for fraudulent emails.

If you receive a text message you believe to be a bank or credit card company requesting information, do not call the phone number or click on any links in the text message.

You should look up

the phone number or find the number on a previous credit card or bank statement to verify the alert.

The best practice

to avoid any type of scam is to do the research and verify before taking any action. This will keep money out of the pockets of scammers.

For more information,

call Detective Tim Lohman of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 494-8232 or email Tim. lohman@ventura.org.


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