Del. AG Warns Consumers to Avoid Spam Text Messages - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. AG Warns Consumers to Avoid Spam Text Messages

Posted:

WILMINGTON– Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is warning consumers to beware of unsolicited text messages and to monitor their wireless phone bills for unsolicited text message charges. 

Biden said his office's Consumer Protection Unit has received complaints from Delaware residents victimized by the following two new types of scams in which consumers receive unsolicited, fraudulent text messages:

  • The first, known as "smishsmashing," occurs when a consumer receives an unsolicited text message, often containing the name of a well-known retail company, offering a sweepstakes prize.  These texts are not legitimate; normally, the sender of these texts is fishing for personal information about the consumer. 
  • The second, known as "cramming," is when a consumer receives a monthly fee on his or her wireless phone bill for an unauthorized charge from a third party.  This fee, often in the amount of $9.99 per month or less, can appear on the consumer's bill in a number of different forms, including "Trivia Alerts," "Military History" or "Horoscopes", or with a more vague description such as "premium messaging."  The consumer often is instructed to reply "STOP" to avoid incurring monthly charges.  Sometimes cramming occurs when a consumer enters his or her wireless phone number in order to receive ringtones or other online services; other times there is no apparent reason why the consumer received crammed charges.

"Scammers are always looking for new ways to trick consumers and steal their money," Biden said. "It is important that consumers do not respond to these fraudulent messages and carefully review their monthly phone bills for improper charges. If you think you have been victimized by one of these scams, please call my office's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-220-5424 right away."

Although the source of unsolicited text messages or crammed messages is not always apparent, Biden said there are a number of things that consumers can do to avoid being victims of wireless scams such as smishsmashing or cramming: 

  • Do not reply to unsolicited text messages asking for personal information.
  • Monitor your wireless phone bill every month, even if your account is set up for automatic monthly payments.  Call your wireless carrier to inquire about unexplained charges. Consider asking for itemized monthly billing if it is not automatically provided. 
  • If you receive an unauthorized text message instructing you to reply "STOP" to avoid receiving a monthly charge, call your wireless carrier to verify that doing so will actually stop the crammed charges. 
  • Ask your carrier about blocking options, including the ability to block "premium" messaging or to block all text messages received from the internet, as opposed to from another wireless user.
  • Be very careful about entering your cell phone number online. Make sure that you carefully read the fine print before giving out your number.
  • Unauthorized texts or crammed charges can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) and/or the Consumer Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice (call 1-800-220-5424 or email consumer.protection@state.de.us).  Please include as much information as possible about the unsolicited messages and/or charges.
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:24 GMT
    Econo Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean CityEcono Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean City

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More
  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:04 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Non-Profits Coalition Creating Pilot Program for those Fighting Addiction

    Non-Profits Coalition Creating Pilot Program for those Fighting Addiction

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:54 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:54:03 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:23 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:23:50 GMT

    The organization B.R.I.D.G.E.S.--Bridging Recovery in Delaware - Gathering Essential Supports--is starting a "Community Navigators" program to help people get involved in the fight against addiction.

    More

    The organization B.R.I.D.G.E.S.--Bridging Recovery in Delaware - Gathering Essential Supports--is starting a "Community Navigators" program to help people get involved in the fight against addiction.

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:24 GMT
    Econo Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean CityEcono Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean City

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More
  • Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:38 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:38:22 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:41 AM EDT2017-05-25 11:41:49 GMT

     Cruisin' leaves it's mark on Ocean City. 

    More

    Last weekend's Cruisin' Ocean City event left its mark, in more ways than one. 

    More
  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:04 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More
  • Updated: Polygraph Tests at Heart of White Marlin Open Trial

    Updated: Polygraph Tests at Heart of White Marlin Open Trial

    Thursday marked day four of the White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore, in which a federal judge has to figure out who will get the millions of dollars in prize money from last year's tournament held in Ocean City.

    More

    Thursday marked day four of the White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore, in which a federal judge has to figure out who will get the millions of dollars in prize money from last year's tournament held in Ocean City.

    More
  • Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices