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Text message scams are no ‘LOL’ matter

he unsolicited texts may contain viruses or malware designed to infect your phone or steal personal information
I know that I write a lot of these types of briefs in my business column; the sad truth is that there is a need to keep the public aware of the many scams that consumers could become victim to. So, I guess this week’s scam of the month could be called “unsolicited texts.” The Oregon Attorney General, John Kroger, sent out a press release last Thursday warning Oregonians not to open unsolicited text messages. These text messages are similar to “phishing” e-mail scams, and may contain malware and viruses specifically designed to infect your phone and steal personal information. Common examples include messages claiming you have “won” a gift card for Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Apple and other national retailers.
   The following is a list of ways to protect yourself from text message that could harm or steal your personal information:
   • Do not click on links contained in unsolicited text messages.
   • Do not reply to unsolicited texts. Regardless if the text suggests you can end receipt by sending a “STOP” message, doing so only confirms the
   message was sent to a live phone and may result in unauthorized third party charges to your wireless statement. Learn more about third-party billing.
   • Contact your cell carrier. Most providers have specific instructions to report SMS (text) SPAM, block numbers and in some cases websites.
   • Register all your phones, including wireless with the Do Not Call List. Text messages sent to phones on the Do Not Call List are in violation of the law and can be reported to either the Federal Trade Commission or Federal Communications Commission.
   • Discuss text scams with all members of your family who have cell phones.
   • Be wary of any messages, emails, texts, voice mails, etc. that claim you’ve won a prize out of the blue. Learn more about sweepstakes and prize offers.
   • Never give your credit card, social security, or bank account numbers to claim “prizes,” nor sign up for free trials or cover related shipping costs.
   • Check your bank, credit card, and wireless phone statements on a regular basis to detect suspicious charges.
   If you have been a victim of a scam or suspect that you have, whether it is through, e-mail, text message, or any other type of unsolicited correspondence, call the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline for help at 1-877-877-9392 or file a complaint online.
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   Crook County Kids Club will be holding an Art Mosey in Prineville this Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to benefit the Crook County Kids Club. You will be able to look at art from local residents as well as members of the CCKC, on Third and Main streets. All art displayed will be available for purchase at the After the Mosey Auction which will be held at the Solstice Brewing Company, starting at 6 p.m. For more information or to donate to Art Mosey, please contact the CCKC at 541-447-7661.
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   This week’s “Partner 4 Kids!” will be held Wednesday, June 6. Dine out at Pizza Hut, located at 1505 N.E. Third St., and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Crook County Kids Club. For more information, go to www.crookcountykids.org.
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   Prineville Music Studio will present its annual spring recital on Tuesday, June 12, at 7 p.m., at St. Andrews church, on East First and Holly streets. The public is invited to this free concert. Students of Sally Burger will be performing piano solos followed by several ensemble numbers by all the students.
   This column was written by the Central Oregonian’s general manager Teresa Tooley. If you have something that you would like to have included in the Central Oregonian’s business briefs, e-mail it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.