10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (2022)

Have you ever received a text message from a company or person you recognized, but it didn’t seem quite “right”?

Spam text messages (also known as phishing or “smishing” – SMS phishing) trick consumers into providing personal data to criminals who pose as a familiar business, organization or family member. Reviewing spam text message examples can help avoid falling victim to these dangerous schemes.

Criminals use phishing text messages to attain usernames and passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers and PINs to commit fraud or identity theft. Other attacks focus on duping people into downloading viruses or malware by clicking seemingly innocent links.

If you don’t think you’d ever fall for a phishing text scam, think again. 11.94 billion spam texts were sent in May 2022 alone – that's almost 43 spam texts for every person in the U.S. In addition, while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) noted a drop in fraudulent calls, it also saw a 145% increase in reports of scam texting.

Today we’ll share ten common spam text message examples and tips for fighting back against SMS phishing scams.

Table of Contents

  • 10 Spam Text Message Examples
    • You’ve won!
    • The IRS is trying to contact you
    • You have a refund coming
    • Verify your bank account
    • You have a package delivery
    • Verify your Apple iCloud ID
    • Bitcoin, anyone?
    • A family member needs help
    • Reactivate your account
    • You have a new billing statement
  • 4 Clear Ways to Identify a Fake Text Message
  • How to Handle a Spam Text Message
  • What Should I Do If I Respond To a Spam Text?

10 Spam Text Message Examples

There seems to be an endless amount of spam text schemes. Check out these phishing text examples, so you know what red flags to look out for:

1. You've Won!

Winning an unexpected prize sounds great, in theory. However, being notified of winning a contest you didn’t enter is a dead giveaway of a phishing text. If you’re unsure whether an offer is authentic, contact the business directly to verify.

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10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (1)

2. The IRS is Trying to Contact You

Government agencies like the IRS will not contact you via email, phone or text message. If any legitimate government agency needs to contact you, they will usually do so via mail or certified letter.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (2)

3. You Have a Refund Coming

Notifications involving money owed to you are enticing, aren’t they? “Our records show you overpaid for (a product or service). Kindly supply your bank routing and account number to receive your refund.” Don’t fall for it.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (3)

4. Verify Your Bank Account

Scams hiding under the guise of financial institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase have famously allowed scammers to steal tons of personal banking information from customers.

Legitimate companies won’t ask for your personal or financial information over text. So if you get a random verification text from your bank, it’s probably fake.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (4)

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5. You Have a Package Delivery

With deliveries from Amazon and FedEx so commonplace now, a text message regarding a package or order would be easy to overlook. While shippers send legitimate shipping update texts, they’ll never ask for personal information or money to complete a delivery.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (5)

6. Verify Your Apple iCloud ID

Any text that attempts to verify your Apple ID or another technology account is suspicious. If you suspect your account is compromised, contact the company directly and change your passwords immediately.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (6)

7. Bitcoin, Anyone?

You should treat any offer of “free” bitcoin the same as any other offer of free money – with high scrutiny. Scammers often use bitcoin as currency in blackmail scams that demand payment for withholding personal details the scammer claims to have about you.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (7)

8. A Family Member Needs Help

One of the most disturbing spam text messages leads you to believe that a family member is in trouble and needs immediate financial help. The sender tries to convince you that wiring money is necessary to prevent a financial or medical emergency – or that a loved one is involved in a kidnapping.

Be cautious and contact the family member directly before proceeding. If there is a genuine emergency, it’s best to reach out to appropriate authorities before sending financial aid.

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10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (8)

9. Reactivate Your Account

You can’t always trust the most seemingly innocent messages. If you receive a text that one of your accounts has been hacked or compromised, delete the message and then contact the account directly rather than responding.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (9)

10. You Have a New Billing Statement

If you suddenly receive notifications that your statement is ready or if you receive a “thank you for your payment” message, proceed with caution.

This is another common type of scam. If it’s a company you believe you’ve done business with but you aren’t sure about any recent transaction, go online, find the company’s website and locate their customer service contact information. Never use the contact information provided in the suspicious text.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), businesses may not send messages to you without your permission. So even if you have a long-standing relationship with a legitimate company, they cannot text you if you haven’t granted express written consent.

How To Identify a Fake Text Message Quickly: 4 Ways

Many spam messages are easy to spot; however, hackers who send phishing messages have refined their techniques over time, making them extremely convincing. Therefore, understanding how to identify a fake text message requires continuous learning.

Be on the lookout for the following types of spam text messages:

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It’s Suspicious

Is the sender familiar (like Amazon or Apple – the most imitated brand in all phishing scams), but the text is poorly written or full of typos? It may direct you to a spoofed website that looks legitimate but isn’t.

It’s Urgent

Is the sender telling you something is wrong with your account or payment method and demanding immediate action? Using urgency is a surefire way to prompt people to act without thinking.

It’s Impersonal

Be wary of texts starting with a generic “Hello” instead of addressing you by name.

It’s Too Good To Be True

Are they offering gift cards, discount codes or prizes for responding with your personal information?

How to Handle a Spam Text Message

If you think you’ve received a phishing text, what should you do? Here are some best practices to help you handle spam texts appropriately.

Bottom line: Would you give even your best friend your personal financial information or access to your passwords? If not, why would you give them to a stranger? Use your best judgment and exercise caution before responding to requests for information.

What Should I Do If I Respond To a Spam Text?

Did you find this article because you’ve already responded to a spam text and don’t know what to do next? We’re here to help!

  • First, report it. Reporting spam texts is an effective way to stop this illegal activity – for yourself and others.
  • Block the spammer’s phone number from your phone.
  • Inform your carrier of the number you received the spam text from.
  • Call your credit card companies, alert them to possible fraudulent transactions, and cancel cards if necessary.
  • Change your passwords to sensitive information sources such as banking, healthcare, email addresses and social media apps.

10 Spam Text Message Examples (& How to Identify Them) (11)

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Avoid Sending "Phishy" Text Messages With Textedly

People are increasingly aware of phishing text message scams. If you’re a business owner or marketer, your challenge is to ensure your SMS marketing campaigns look professional.

Textedly can help your business design successful, creative SMS campaigns that inspire trust and confidence rather than get marked as spam. Textedly provides simple SMS solutions that are easy to set up, so you can start messaging your customers right away.

Sign up for a free Textedly trial today!

FAQs

How do I identify spam messages? ›

The most obvious way to spot a bogus email is if the sender uses a public email domain, such as '@gmail.com'. In this example, you can see that the sender's email address doesn't align with the message's content, which appears to be from PayPal.

What are the example of spam messages? ›

Some common spam text examples are: Spam texts stating you've won something, the IRS is trying to contact you, you have a refund coming or asking you to verify your bank account. Spam texts also often say you have a package delivery, verify your email/icloud/android ID, or that a family member needs help urgently.

What is the text code for spam? ›

Report it on the messaging app you use. Look for the option to report junk or spam. Copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM). Report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

What happens if you answer a spam text? ›

Directly replying to a spam text message lets a spammer know that your number is genuine. What happens next They can sell your phone number to other spammers who might bombard you with false promises of free gifts and product offers. Instead, it's best to block and report the number.

How do I check spam messages on Android? ›

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Why do I get spam text messages? ›

Spam text messages may lure you into disclosing personal information like how much money you make, how much you owe the bank, your Social Security number, and credit card details. Most legitimate companies do not request personal information like passwords, account details, and other personal details via text messages.

What is the most common form of spam? ›

Phishing is the most common form of spam. It's typically delivered through an email, chat, web ad or website that has been designed to impersonate a real person or organization. Phishing messages deliver a sense of urgency or fear to persuade the user to give up their data.

What are the common characteristics of spam? ›

It has a broadcasted, rather than targeted, message. It suits the purposes of the sender rather than the receiver. Most important, the message is distributed without the explicit permission of the recipients.

How can I identify a text sender? ›

The SMS sender ID is the text display name that you see at the top of your phone's screen and is used to identify who sent the message. The SMS sender ID is simply who a text message is from. It's also known as the originator or sometimes the sent address.

What are these 410 text messages? ›

A 410 spam text scam is a type of phishing attack.

As the primary point of contact is the SMS text message, those are called SmiShing attacks (yes, that term is a thing).

What are 410 numbers? ›

Area code 410 is located in eastern Maryland and covers Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, Ellicott City, and Dundalk.

How do you respond to a random text? ›

Just be straightforward. Tell them you don't recognize their number and explain why (even if you should have it). For some of my situations I like to say: Hey!

Can you be tracked by responding to a text? ›

Yes, other people can track your location by sending you a text message on chat platforms or via SMS. They may send you a malicious link, install a hidden app, or triangulate your location using phone company data.

How do I check spam on my phone? ›

Finding your spam folder in the Gmail app for either Android or iOS is very easy. Tap the three horizontal lines at the top left. This opens up the folder and label list. Scroll down that list, and you'll eventually see the Spam folder.

How do I check spam messages on Samsung? ›

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How do I stop unwanted spam texts? ›

On Android, you can also stop spam texts by opening the Messaging app and clicking the three dots at the top-right of the screen. From there, click "Settings" and then "Spam Protection." In the following menu, scroll down to the "Enable Spam Protection" setting and activate it.

How can I identify a text sender? ›

The SMS sender ID is the text display name that you see at the top of your phone's screen and is used to identify who sent the message. The SMS sender ID is simply who a text message is from. It's also known as the originator or sometimes the sent address.

Where do I find spam on my phone? ›

Finding your spam folder in the Gmail app for either Android or iOS is very easy. Tap the three horizontal lines at the top left. This opens up the folder and label list. Scroll down that list, and you'll eventually see the Spam folder.

How do I stop spam text messages? ›

On Android, you can also stop spam texts by opening the Messaging app and clicking the three dots at the top-right of the screen. From there, click "Settings" and then "Spam Protection." In the following menu, scroll down to the "Enable Spam Protection" setting and activate it.

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