Scammers send fake text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information – things like your password, account number, or Social Security number. If the scammer gets that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers.

Don’t reply to unsolicited numbers.

Close the conversation in Secure Messaging. Directly replying to a spam text message lets a spammer know the number is genuine. What happens next? The spammer can sell your phone number to other spammers who might bombard you with promises of free gifts and product offers.

Don’t click on any links in the text message.

Clicking on a link in a spam text message could install malware that can collect information from your phone. It can take you to spoof sites that look real, but are designed to steal your information. Malware can also slow down your cell phone’s performance by taking up space on your phone’s memory. Once the spammer has your information, it can be sold to marketers or, worse, identity thieves.

Do report spam texts to your wireless carrier.

Send any suspicious or spam messages to 7726, which spells SPAM, so your carrier can investigate. Don’t worry, messages forwarded to 7726 are free and don’t count against your text plan.