Warning: Free Vacation Text Is A "Triple Threat"

If you won a contest of some sort, you would know it right? There would be proof, if not an entire prize patrol, at least someone you could ask questions about your winnings. But if all you got was a text saying you may have won a free vacation, but you've never even entered a contest for a free vacation, that's a problem. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission calls an unsolicited text, with a possible freebie, for a contest you didn't enter-- a triple threat.

Stacia Naquin with our sister station KPNX in Phoenix, AZ has more.

The message says, "Please verify your two complimentary tickets to the Bahamas." It sounds good. But whether it's a vacation, a gift card, or product offers, if it shows up unsolicited on your phone, it's illegal. The Federal Trade Commission calls it a triple-threat because it could lead to unwanted charges on your phone bill. It could also slow phone performance by taking up memory. And clicking on a link in the message could install malware that collects information from your phone which puts your identity at risk.

That will cost you in money and in actual time. The FBI says if you've been a victim of your personal information being stolen, on average, it takes about 175 dedicated hours to correct that information on your credit record. So instead of taking that vacation, your time will be spent un-doing this costly mistake.

There's a way you can report these types of spam messages to your cell phone provider. Remember this number: 7726. That spells SPAM on your phone.

Lifehacker says sending the messages to 7726 won't necessarily stop the messages from coming, but it helps the phone companies filter the messages for everyone in the future.

2 Wants to Know checked. The 7726 works for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Each has their own spam protection advice.


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