Action Line Consumer Alert: Text message scheme

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Several people have been asking the Hawaii Better Business Bureau about a text message they’ve received.

“From what we hear its pretty random so whether you have gmail or yahoo you know you might not have a yahoo but receive a text saying that your yahoo account has been compromised,” Hawaii Better Business Bureau Timothy Caminos said.

The message asks you to send a text back so that they can secure your account again.

“To unlock your email type in SENDNOW and return it to whatever number. What that’s doing is its allowing access or downloading a code so the hacker can have control of your phone” Caminos said.

But once you respond back by texting SENDNOW you are allowing thieves to steal your identity.

“You’re kind of opening the door for them to take control of your phone. It’s basically downloading a virus or malware to your phone,” Caminos said.

Caminos says you can still use your phone, but it’s not safe.

“You can still use it in fact they’re banking on you still using it because the more that you use the phone the more information they can siphon or siphon off of it,” Caminos said.

The Hawaii BBB strongly advises anyone who receives the text to delete it immediately.

If you have replied to the text there are steps to take to erase the mistake.

“You want to run a virus scan on your phone but also on any computers that you use and change your passwords,” Caminos said.

If you have a consumer concern, you can email Action Line directly at actionline@khon2.com or call #591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

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