Attorney General, BBB Warn of New Text Message Scams

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The Attorney General is warning of what appears to be a scam pretending to come from local fire departments.

NBC Connecticut first told you about the issue on Sunday, and now we’re learning about other suspicious text messages people are receiving.

Across the state, fire departments recently sent out alerts about concerning text messages going out.

“I think I can speak for most of the departments in the state; we would never just cold call, send out a blanket text like that,” said Dick Bauer, Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company assistant chief.

Lebanon Volunteer Fire posted an image of the personalized text.

People who received it saw their own name, the name of the local fire department and an offer for $10 off a shirt.

There’s also a link to click on.

“Unfortunately this appears to be a scam,” said William Tong, D – Attorney General.

This week the Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut also issued an alert for a new text message scam that tries to trick people.

It says something like, “Your bill is paid for March. Thanks, here’s a little gift for you,” followed by a website link.

“What we like to tell people to do is not click on the link. Don’t even open the text message. Just swipe and delete,” said Kristen Johnson, BBB Director of Communications.

Attorney General William Tong said with technology, it’s cheap and simple for wrongdoers to pull off a scam.

At least when it comes to suspicious calls, authorities have required telecommunication companies to use a process called STIR/SHAKEN.

“When your phone rings and it says potential spam that’s STIR/SHAKEN technology tipping you off that it’s potential spam. I haven’t quite seen that yet for texts. And we are still playing catch up, unfortunately,” said Tong.

For now, the advice is to do your homework before making a donation, don’t be pressured into giving, and be careful when providing your personal information.

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