Ways to try and beat the spammers behind the text scam - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ways to try and beat the spammers behind the text scam

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A local smart phone expert told WTOC about how spammers got our numbers and how you can try to stop the texts once and for all.

The texts typically included a number to reply to because it alleged your account was frozen.

Another round of those text scams came through just the other night. Many people who watch WTOC, and even employees, got this new text claiming your account was "locked due to fraud."

"I got them before," Mike Betancourt, I-Repair Savannah, told WTOC. "They can be annoying. It can be any number of companies but I got them before."

Betancourt works at I-Repair Savannah, where he's also heard people complain about these texts, how to stop them and how the scammers got their number in the first place.

"It's definitely not your provider. It's illegal for providers to sell the numbers. It could be other people you may have signed up with, if you ever used your cell number to sign up for any account, a free or a paid one," Betancourt said. "What they do is they just get a bunch of random numbers together and one giant list and do a mass text. The reason you don't want to text them back is because they will know it's a good cell phone number and they will keep you on that list and they may even sell it to other scammers."

There are ways to slow the texts and report them. You can start by blocking the number which sent the text and Verizon's website also suggests you first forward the text to your provider using the word SPAM, or a text to 7726, which is a national scam registry.

However, it still may not keep you text scam free.

"You can block the number, but they will find other ways. Most of the time they use iMessage or they send a message through online service so it doesn't always come from the same number," Betancourt said.

"There is no real way to be off those lists. You are supposed to be on the Do Not Call list, but most of these scammers don't even care about that. The best way you can protect yourself is to not answer. If they keep sending, let your provider know," he said.

Registering on the Do Not Call Registry is simple and quick, and while it may not stop text spam entirely, Betancourt says it will help and also sign you up for mailing lists to help avoid junk mail and unwanted credit card offers.

To register your number on the Do Not Call list, go to https://www.donotcall.gov/.

WTOC viewers report many are Verizon customers who received the latest round of texts. We contacted Verizon this morning for comment and tips for customers, but have not heard back from them as of 6:00 PM.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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