RALEIGH, N.C (WNCN) – While they may be innocent at first glance, the Better Business Bureau said a wrong-number text from an internet love interest may be a scam.
These messages may be tempting to respond to with a simple, “Sorry, wrong number.” However, the BBB said con artists are using these “wrong number” texts to lure you into a conversation.
The BBB said the text may be framed as something like, “Hey is this John? It’s Amanda. We chatted on Tinder before when I came to visit my cousin but we never met irl. I’m back in town if you want to meet up this time, are you free?”
A text CBS17 reporter Judith Retana received read, “Hello are you Leandro? this is Teresa, we chatted on that dating site before when I went down to visit my relatives but we didn’t meet for dinner. I’m back in the area right now if ya still want to for sure go out this time, r ya up for it?“
The bureau said the bot will typically ignore your text that they have the wrong number. Instead, BBB said the bot may start to compliment you and photos they said are on your profile.
The BBB said the bot’s goal is to get you to sign up for a specific dating or adult website. Those websites ask for your credit card information putting you at risk for fraudulent charges or even identity theft.
The BBB offered the following tips to avoiding chatbots
- Ignore texts from strangers. If you receive a text from someone you don’t know, simply don’t reply. It’s the safest route. If you engage with a scammer, even briefly, they will mark your number as active and you could receive even more shady texts in the future.
- Block numbers that appear to come from scammers. Unsolicited texts that look like they come from a chat bot or that ask you to click on suspicious links are probably not safe. Block these numbers to prevent scammers from contacting you through them again.
- Never give your personal information to strangers. Never share your credit card or banking information, your full name, home address, or social security number with someone you never met in person.
If you’ve received one of these spam texts, you can report it by clicking here.