SMS Text Scams

Written by jennifer burdett
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SMS Text Scams
If an SMS company spams your mobile, it is best to ignore the text. (B2M Productions/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

SMS text scams have been around almost as long as mobile phones, and some individuals are still coming up with new ways to con people out of their hard-earned cash. Some people fall for mobile phone SMS scams so easily because sometimes all it takes is a single reply to a text message or a response to a missed call to get hooked.

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Ringtone Scams

The ringtone SMS text scams are among the most common. Certain companies advertise cheap ringtones with the illusion that customers who purchase them will receive the ringtone they choose at a bargain price. The reality of this scam is that there is also a continuous weekly, biweekly or even monthly payment that's automatically taken from a mobile phone user's account. Stopping the money from being taken is not so easy either, because the company's contact details are not usually shown on these scam advertisements, nor is the message to text to cancel any contract.

Always read the small print when purchasing a ringtone.
Always read the small print when purchasing a ringtone. (cell phone ringing image by Ricardo Verde Costa from

Missed Calls & Unknown Text Messages

The missed call and unknown SMS message scam occurs when the mobile phone owner realises he has a missed called or text message. He attempts to call the number or reply to the message with a responding text message. Once he makes a reply, the mobile owner unknowingly has just paid money by being tricked into accepting a premium-rate mobile phone service contract.

Unexpected SMS Prizes

The unexpected prize SMS text message scam happens when a mobile phone user receives a text message stating that he has won a prize. The scam side of this text includes part of the text message stating that to receive the prize, money must first be sent to the sender of the text. Prizes are more likely to never arrive, and if a prize does arrive, it may not be anything like what was originally expected.

Don't be too quick to believe any text that states anything about parting with money for a prize.
Don't be too quick to believe any text that states anything about parting with money for a prize. (SMS image by Dream-Emotion from

Freebie SMS

A few companies provide free SMS text messaging packages. According to SMS Today, companies such as Freebie SMS provide a free SMS text service for individuals sending a text, but the receiver of the free text is expected to pay £4. The £4 automatically gets taken from the mobile phone billing company, and if the receiver has a pay-as-you-go mobile, then the money gets deducted straight from the mobile's credit.

Always ensure that a free text message service is really free.
Always ensure that a free text message service is really free. (girl typing a sms message image by Ramona smiers from

SMS Scam - Debit or Credit Card Account Has Been Suspended

This scam is a mobile phone phishing scam. The mobile phone owner receives a text message stating that her debit or credit card has been suspended, and it comes with a contact number to call. Once the person calls the number to find out what is going on, another person waits on the other end of the line to write down details such as full name, address, account details and passwords. Once these scammers receive these details, they start emptying people's accounts. If there is a problem with any personal bank cards, then only call bank contact numbers displayed on previous statements.

SMS Text Scams
A reputable bank should never solicit you for personal information. (one million dollars and mobile phone image by Veniamin Kraskov from

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