Protecting Yourself from Fraudulent Emails and Text Messages
Everyone who is connected in this digital world faces the struggle of fraudulent calls, text messages, and emails. Whether it is a fake email telling you that something at your bank has been compromised, or a text message scam telling you that you have won some kind of extravagant vacation, you're probably looking for the best way to protect yourself from these kinds of messages. In fact, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that you consent either orally or through writing before a company may contact you by text message!
By using these four methods you will be able to prevent those pesky, unwanted texts and emails that can consume your time and make you worry.
Step 1- Keep Track of What Companies You Consent To
This is one of the simplest ways to ensure that you are only receiving messages and emails that you want. Whenever a company asks for your consent to email, text, or call you, make sure that you write down or take note that you have given your permission.
If you are unsure, feel free to contact companies like your cell phone provider to find out if you have allowed them to do that. You are allowed to revoke that permission
if the messages become so frequent that they are spamming you, or if you are simply disinterested in the information contained in the messages.
Step 2- Block Unwanted Numbers
Blocking unwanted numbers is the perfect way
to ensure that you only receive messages from legitimate sources. This can be done through the settings icon on most mobile phones, and can also be done by contacting your cell phone provider. You may also forward these annoying messages to 7726 ('Spam') to block the source.
Read more about How to Block unwanted phone calls.
Step 3- Register Your Phone Number
As a digital consumer you have access to many different helpful sources against this kind of behavior. If you are being harassed or solicited through phone call or text message, there are several different 'Do Not Call' registries
that you may file your phone number with. Simply visit this website to register whichever phone numbers you wish.
Read more about The National Do Not Call Registry.
Step 4- Be Informed
Being informed about current scamming techniques
and companies targeting loyal patrons can protect you from many different kinds of digital fraud. When you receive an email from a company, do not be afraid to reach out to a reliable company source (such as a hotline) to verify the information. If you receive text messages about school closings or emergency alerts, always remember to check local news stations and listings just as a means of verification.
If you discover that you are a victim of communication fraud or harassment, the FCC recommends that you file a claim on their website (FCC Complaints).
They will ask you for a good contact number to follow up with you, and they will also ask for a description of the issue. Remember that your digital safety should always be your first priority when receiving unwanted or harassing emails and text messages.