Get a coronavirus testing text message? Officials warn it’s a scam

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DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — The Better Business Bureau is warning people about a phony text message claiming to be from a government agency urging people to take COVID-19 tests.

The BBB says users get a text that looks like it’s something official. The message tells you that you must take a “mandatory online COVID-19 test” and has a link to a website. However, it’s not legitimate.

The BBB says it’s a smishing — or SMS phising scam. These texts are phishing for personal information. They also can download malware to your device — which opens you up to risk for identity theft, according to the BBB.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for spotting a COVID-19 text message scam:

  • Government agencies do not typically communicate through text messages.
  • Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.
  • If you think your text message is real, be sure it’s directing to a web address like “agency.gov” or “agency.ca,” not “agency.otherwebsite.com.”
  • Check for look-alikes. Be sure to do your research and see if a government agency or organization actually exists. Find contact info on your own and call them to be sure the person you’ve heard from is legitimate.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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