The message says you’re a lucky winner, but the truth is you’re being mined for data.
Who Is It Targeting: Smartphone users
What Is It: A spam phishing message that looks like an alert from your phone
What Are They After: Phishing attempts are messages of some form that are sent to lots of people at once, hoping that someone takes the bait. In the phone alert scam, your smartphone receives a message stating that you’re the lucky winner. When you click on the message to get to the actual sweepstakes, you’re not only clicking on ads that provide the scammer with revenue, you’re asked to provide your personal information in order to “claim your prize.”
The information gathered can be used in one of two ways. If it’s highly sensitive information, the goal may be to steal your identity. But even if the data is seemingly harmless, like your birth date or gender, it can be combined with what the scammer already knows about you—namely, your name and phone number—and then sold to advertisers who will then send you spam.
How Can You Avoid It:
- You will never win a lottery, contest, or sweepstakes that you didn’t enter.
- If you receive an alert informing you that you’ve won some kind of contest, it is most likely spam intended to steal your information.
- Delete the message immediately in case it links to harmful software.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact us for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here.
For full details of this scam check out this article from KVUE.com.