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

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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.

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