Question: Is the text that I won a prize real?

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Answer:

Recently a new set of texts has started appearing to people. These texts announce that you have won a prize in a drawing for something like AirPods. The text has your first name on it and says you won first second or third prize. I get these about once a week and told I have won at different levels.

There is in the text a link for you to click to collect your link. Notice that the link always (at least for me) has some strange combination of letters for an address. It is not a link to a known web site. It will look something like doisftkkdf.info/hGlRbsDf55.

This is the latest attempt by phishers to phish for your wallet. If you respond to the text or click the link, then they will either be wanting your personal information including credit/debit card or bank account or they will be downloading spyware on your device so they can either search your device for that data or when you type it in a legitimate site, they see it also. Then it is off to the races with that information in spending what was in your account or charging it to your account.

This is just the latest way of phishing for this information. Years ago, they would mail letters to you wanting the information with prize winnings or inheritances due you. Then with the Internet the popular (and cheaper) way to do these is by either sending emails to crowds or by using pop-up messages on the computers. In the midst of these of mail and Internet a few have used phone calls. Now with the popularity of texting they are doing the phishing via tests.

Be safe on texting and on the Internet. They are both great tools to improve our lives, but the bad people use also.

Send me your questions about computers to my e-mail dwight@dwightwatt.com and tell me you read this in this paper. I will pick a question to answer each week.

Dwight Watt does computer work for businesses, individuals and organizations and teaches about computers at a technical college in northwest Georgia. His webpage is www.dwightwatt.com.

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