In a recent cyber security scam, smartphone users receive a text from an unknown number with a message claiming a friend has written a compliment about them in a new app. The text message contains a link that prompts them to download the specific app on their phone. Online there may even be hundreds of glowing reviews for the app. But beware! In the fine print, downloading the app automatically grants it access to your contacts and all of your saved numbers. The app then perpetuates its number trolling activity by sending all of your contacts the same invitation. While this scam itself poses minimal immediate danger, it allows fraudsters to access your phone to steal your contacts and build a list of phone numbers that the scammer can later sell on the black market for future scam targets. If you receive a text message prompting you to download an app like this, it’s best to delete the message and avoid any potential issues.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at http://www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.