3OYS: Beware of text messaging scams

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Mike Harrison manufactures and builds parts for planes. But when he received a text message that looked a little weird, it wasn't something he was going to let fly over his head.

"It looked like it was a warning from my bank or from my credit card company," he said.

The text told Harrison to contact Visa and provided him with a phone number.

"It looks very realistic," he said.

But Harrison said he knew right away that the message was a scam because of an app he has on his cellphone that notifies him of potential threats.

"I saw the word 'spam' right next to it," he said. "When I saw where the source phone number came from, that was another indicator."

But if you don't have that app to warn you, you might be enticed to call that phone number.

"They're going to ask you about your account number perhaps, and then possibly get you to verify information .... maybe with your password or something like that," Harrison said.

When you volunteer that kind of information, scammers can easily take your money.

Harrison said he doesn't do banking on his phone or have text alerts set up, but he knows many other people do.

"They're taking advantage of the fact that people actually depend on their bank to let them know when something's wrong," he said.

The best way to avoid these scams is to not call the number from which you received the text message. Instead, call the number on the back of your credit card if you're concerned.

A Visa source confirmed that the company won’t send out those types of alerts, so always be cautious if you get one.