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Child Predator Warning Scams and How to Avoid Them

Child Predator Warning Scams
June 8, 2018

Stay aware and remain alert to current events

Criminals will find new ideas to get your attention so stay up-to-date with the latest tricks and subject lines used in current scam text and email scams to protect your personal and financial information.

What You
Should Know

Criminals want you to react quickly without thinking. Stop, stay calm, and ask questions.

What You
Can Do

Be suspicious of text messages or emails from unrecognized senders no matter how well-intentioned, which require you to click onto a link.

Global email users are set to grow to 4.3 billion by 20221

Criminals are crafting text messages and emails that contain fake information to trick users into opening infected links and file attachments. Their goal is to steal data and compromise mobile devices and computer systems.  By use of these scams, criminals can access sensitive information and steal users’ identities. The numbers of spam text messages and email scams users receive are increasing every year. Unlike advertising spam used in marketing, text and email spam can contain malicious links or file attachments that contain malware or viruses that could infect computer systems and steal valuable information. A malware link or malicious attachment can infect an electronic device with the click of a mouse of the swipe of a finger.

One such scam targets parents by preying upon their natural instincts as parents for the safety and protection of children. The child predator warning scams provide recipients with fake safety alerts about child predators residing close by or in the recipient’s neighborhood, usually based upon a recipient’s ZIP Code™. Criminals are creative in finding new ways to trick text and email users into clicking onto malicious links. The act of clicking one of these malicious links or attachments grants the user’s consent to download and run malicious code onto the computer or electronic device. This action occurs without the user’s knowledge and often results in the theft of information stored or other malicious activity on the device.

How to Avoid Child Predator Warning Scams:

  1. Remember which text or email notification subscriptions you are signed up for: Be suspicious if you don’t remember signing up for an alert service you’ve received. If you don’t recall signing up for such a service like child predator warning alerts in your neighborhood, you shouldn’t be expecting one.
  2. Check the sender of the email before reading the message: If you don’t recognize the sender, be suspicious and don’t click on a link or file attachments from the email.
  3. Never disclose sensitive information via text message or email: Legitimate businesses will never ask you to provide sensitive information such as your social security number, billing address, bank account information, or credit card numbers through text messages or emails.
  4. Avoid text messages or emails that solicit money: Don’t reply to messages that request money in exchange for information or services. Also, do not accept or send any form of payment such as gift cards, bank wire transfers, or virtual currency.
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