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Warning: Fake text messages stealing personal information

Warning: Fake text messages stealing personal information
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

If you use a smartphone, this is an important warning for you. Please follow along to learn about this scary new threat, and what you need to change right now to be safe. For years, I've been giving you the heads up and the tools to keep you, your family and your money safe from all the bad guys out there who are forever trying to rip you off. Now I've found a scary new way hackers can target you without you even realizing it. And by the time you do catch on, it will probably be way too late!

It all involves your smartphone, your cell provider and text alerts. By now, most folks are completely used to communicating back and forth with family and friends via text. Businesses have caught on, too. Text is a cheap and easy way for companies to connect with customers. One type of company that uses texts a lot is our cellphone providers. After all, they have already have our cellphone numbers so it's simple for them to push out messages.

Cellphone providers regularly send text alerts and other messages to users. These messages might be a warning that you are approaching your data limit or that your monthly bill is ready. Here is a message I just got the other day from Verizon with a friendly heads up that my bill is ready. Pretty convenient, right?

Verizon Crop

Just one problem. You really have no idea if this is actually from your legitimate cellphone provider or where the link might take you! And here's the reality: In your busy life, it is very tempting to just click on the link and enter your login credentials, right? Guess what? If this message is from a hacker, you just gave away the keys to your cellphone account and perhaps everything else that goes with it perhaps even your credit card numbers.

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