AT&T Scam Text & How to Avoid it 
We all like to feel appreciated and get free things. And most of us jump right into action when there’s a problem with a payment we’ve made. There are fake AT&T text messages doing the rounds that play on these reactions.
Some of these AT&T scam texts look real, most don’t. It doesn’t matter—when there’s a carrot dangling in front of you or the threat of a pretty big stick looming, critical thinking skills can fail the best of us. Scammers take full advantage of this.
Click on the link in one of these scam texts and you’ll likely end up on any one of a number of fake websites, designed to grab your AT&T account details, credit card information, social security number, and more.
Learn how to spot these AT&T spam text messages, what to do when you receive a suspicious message, and how to protect your sensitive data, even if you’ve already fallen for the scam.
Is that AT&T text message you received a scam?
Is the message from a regular, ten-digit phone number? Is the text asking you to click links that aren’t to the www.att.com domain? Is it pressuring or encouraging you to act quickly? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then yes, it’s almost certainly a scam.
How to spot a fake AT&T text message
The biggest tell-tale sign of a scam text is that it’s asking you to click on a link. Never click links sent via SMS. AT&T won’t ask you to provide credit card information, change or confirm your PIN, or anything like this via SMS.
AT&T, like many other carriers, will use short code numbers like 15005, not ten-digit numbers like 555-123-4567. So if the suspicious AT&T text you’ve received is from a regular phone number, it’s a scam.
Fake AT&T texts are also likely to contain a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. They’re likely to be poorly formatted and generally look unprofessional. Be warned, though, that they may also look just like the real thing.
Most importantly, an AT&T phishing text will include a link. The link probably won’t start with www.att.com (the official AT&T domain). Don’t click it even if it does—scammers have ways of making links look legitimate.
With 15 billion spam texts having been sent to AT&T users in September alone, it’s not possible to list every possible approach the bad guys might take. Here’s how some of the most popular AT&T text scams work:
You receive a text message that claims to be from AT&T. It tells you that your monthly bill has been paid and that there’s a gift waiting for you, you just need to claim it; or that there’s a problem with your latest payment; or that you have to change or confirm your PIN.
No matter what the scam text says, there’s a link included.
What to do if you receive an AT&T spam text
Whatever you do, don’t click on anything in the message, don’t reply to it, and don’t call the number.
If you think that the message might be legitimate after all, go to the official AT&T website and search for keywords from the message or log into your My AT&T account and check for any payment issues there.
Convinced that what you have in front of you is a scam text, the best thing you can do is forward it to 7726. AT&T will send you a text asking for the scammer’s phone number. You can then block the number and delete the original message.
AT&T has provided detailed instructions on how to forward scam texts on both Android phones and iPhones. Forwarding spam texts to 7726 works on other carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile, too. We also wrote a detailed guide on AT&T users can stop spam texts.
Wondering “how do I stop AT&T scam texts in the future?” The most effective thing you can do is remove as much of your personal information from the internet as possible—we have a detailed guide to help you.
What to do if you’ve fallen victim to an AT&T text scam
Now you know how to spot AT&T scam text messages a mile away, but what if it’s too late and you’ve already clicked through on a phishing link?
- The first thing you need to do is change your AT&T password. Do this from the official website on another device.
- Contact your bank if you entered your credit card information at any stage. Change your online banking password if you were redirected to your online banking page from the phishing site.
- Change any other passwords that might have been compromised. Use a unique and strong password for each account.
- Run a scan on the device you used to open links from the scam text to look for viruses and other malware.
Here’s a list of some other things you can do:
1) Upgrade your data privacy and security
Use these products and services to automate as much of your cybersecurity regimen as possible:
- A password manager will make generating and keeping track of unique passwords easy.
- An antivirus program will safeguard your computer from malicious software.
- A data removal service will help keep your personal data from falling into scammers’ hands in the first place.
2) Report and block the scammer
Responding to the scammer in any way will only work in their favor. At the very least, it’ll let them know that your number is active and bring more scam texts and illegal robocalls your way.
Instead, forward the suspicious text to 7726. Block the scammer and delete the message once AT&T has contacted you to ask for the scammer’s phone number.
3) Inform law enforcement
Contact your local police department to report the crime, especially if you’ve already lost money to this scam. Try to get a police report filed—this might prove invaluable when recovering lost funds.
4) Lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
File a report with the BBB. The more information that’s out there about these scams, the better equipped people will be to avoid them. This might not help you, but it’ll make life a little bit harder for the scammers.
5) Report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
What you received is an illegal message, and it’s the FTC that deals with these kinds of crimes. Visit the FTC’s identity theft portal to file a report and start the recovery process, if need be.
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