Florida Attorney General: ‘Beware of new scam offering free gift for paying bill on time’


MIAMI – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning residents about a text message scam offering a ‘free gift’ for paying a bill on time.

Moody’s office says the scheme is designed to entice text recipients with the promise of a present to click on a link to an unfamiliar website requesting personal information.

Residents are reminded to never use links from unknown phone numbers or reply to suspicious messages, especially if free gifts or money are promised.

“Scammers will try anything to steal your personal information. Their latest trick is simple, but effective-the promise of a gift in exchange for personal information. Don’t fall for it. Never provide personal information in response to a solicitation or click on links contained in a suspicious message. Remember that if something seems too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam,” said Moody.

The attorney general recommends doing the following to avoid falling for ‘free gift’ text scams:
• Do not click on any links from an unknown sender-these links often contain malware or lead to harmful sites;
• If a company is mentioned in the message, check if the text is legitimate by looking up the company’s official website and contacting them at their listed phone number;
• Refrain from responding, as replying alerts the scammer that the number is active and may lead to more texts or calls;
• Block the phone number and delete the message; and
• Never send personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited text. 


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