That's not your mom texting! Better Business Bureau warns against false caller ID

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Monday, October 3, 2022
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A Southern California mom became the target of a kidnapping scam, and she's sharing her frightening story to alert other parents.

Don't fall victim to fake text messages. The Better Business Bureau warns users that scammers have recently been using a new tactic to trick you into sending money.

The video above is from a previous report: Mom falls victim to phone kidnapping scam after caller falsely claims to have abducted son

Scammers have long used social media to impersonate people you know and trust, but now, they've spoofed caller IDs. This scam can be hard to spot at first glance, so watch out for the warning signs.

So how does the scam work? You get a text message from "Mom" or or "Dad" saying they're at the store, but left their credit card at home by accident. Could you send $150?

The request seems harmless, but don't do it!

Scammers are relying on the fact that most people have "Dad" or "Mom" saved in their contacts and hope you won't think twice before sending help. If you do transfer money to a bank or digital wallet account, your money will be gone for good.

BBB said to watch out for anything unusual about a message, and consider it a red flag. If your parents never send text messages, it's probably not them texting now. On the other hand, if they text all the time but never ask for money, you're probably dealing with an impersonator.

Look for a new message thread. If you text with your parents on a regular basis, you should be able to see previous messages from them. If you can't see any of the earlier messages, it's probably a scammer contacting you for the first time.

Double check the sender info. Click on the sender information to make sure the name matches your parent's real phone number.

If you've been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. By reporting your experience, you can help others avoid falling for the same scam.