Fraud Warning: Floridians Are Being Targeted By “Wrong Number” Text Scam
On March 28th, 2022, the Florida Office of the Attorney General published an official press release warning state residents to beware of so-called “wrong number” text scams. State regulators recently received evidence suggesting that scammers are actively targeting Floridians. In this blog post, our Miami deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyers discuss the warning from Florida regulators and explain your rights as a consumer under the FDUTPA.
Alert: Wrong Number Text Scammers are Trying to Entice Florida Residents
As indicated by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, text scammers are targeting Florida residents with “enticing” and “suggestive” wrong number messages. The scam involves random numbers reaching out to Florida residents with messages about how they had met on a dating service or had a great night out at a bar. In sending these types of messages, the scammers have a primary goal of trying to get a response from the recipient. They may solicit personal information or try to get the recipient to click a harmful web link. The Florida Attorney General is offering the following four tips for anyone who receives a suggestive message from an unknown number:
- Assume Malicious Intent: If you are not sure why you are getting such a message, assume it is from a scammer who is trying to get your personal information.
- Do Not Respond: Scam text messages can be ignored. You are better off not responding at all. Never provide sensitive personal information.
- Block the Number: You can protect yourself from a text message based scammer by blocking the number after they first reach out.
- Report Fraud Right Away: If you believe you were defrauded as part of a wrong number scam, contact authorities immediately. Report the fraud as soon as possible.
Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) Protects Consumers
There are a number of different laws in place that protect Florida residents against fraud. Most notably, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) allows private individuals and private companies that have sustained losses due to improper commercial conduct (false advertising, deception, etc.) to file a lawsuit directly against the responsible party to seek compensation for any damages.
There are other state and federal consumer protection laws in place as well, including some that apply to text message spam and text message scams. A spam text message may be unlawful under the federal CAN-SPAM Act. Another federal law known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) allows consumers to seek compensation for spam text messages in certain circumstances.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Florida FDUTPA Lawyer
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we advocate tirelessly for the rights and interests of clients. Victims of fraud, deception, and other unfair business practices may have a claim under the FDUTPA. Call us today to set up a free, no commitment evaluation of your case. From our Miami office and our West Palm Beach office, our firm handles business and consumer fraud claims all around South Florida.