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Racy text messages may be ploy to gain personal information

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - You never know when you might get a racy, vulgar text message. They caught one local mother off guard.

News4 Investigates has discovered even kids are getting these messages.

“It basically said go do inappropriate things to your mom,” said Katie Long, who has a 13-year-old daughter who received an inappropriate text message from someone she didn’t know.

It wasn’t the only inappropriate text message she received.

Long said it went on for months and was included in a “group message.” Some of the messages are so vulgar that they can not be shown. News4 Investigates found out children and teens are getting these messages at random.

“You could tell someone was trying to see who’s going to respond,” said Long.

That’s what cyber security experts say not to do.

By answering one of the text messages, Bruce McCully said you’re opening the window for hackers to get in.

“If you respond, they will get additional information about you including the fact you’re looking at your cell phone,” said McCully, who works for Galactic Advisors.

McCully is talking about information like bank account numbers and your social security number.

“It’s sent to a group and that’s a very effective way to get somebody in that group to respond,” said McCully.

He said there are ways to prevent this sort of thing from happening to you.

Be careful when using your real phone number online for things. He also said when clicking certain links, your real birthday isn’t always necessary.

The takeaway? Be careful who you’re giving real information about yourself to.

“I hate to think about what all they can get because our lives are in our phones – bank information, information about where my kids go to school, anything,” said Long.

If you happen to get one of the texts, experts said block it immediately and remember not to respond. You can also text the number 7726 and that reports it to your phone carrier. You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

 

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