BEND, OR -- Police warn smart phone users a group text making the rounds in Central Oregon is a scam. In the message, the sender claims to be a woman living in your neighborhood, looking for sex. It includes a link promising a photo of the woman. But, Lt. Juli McConkey says don't click on it, "People can get your cell phone information, who providers are, all sorts of things, to defraud the person who's clicking the link; [they] try to get all the personal information." She adds the sender can even, "Get your log in name, password, credit card info, things like that. It's really an attempt to defraud people."
She says scammers can even learn important information when the recipient replies. McConkey tells KBND News you should instead, "Block the number, don't click on the link, and then don't respond to the text at all. Just delete it entirely. If someone were to text back to say something to the effect of 'Leave me alone,' or 'I don't want anything to do with this,' that just confirms that the number is valid, and they might start getting more scammers trying to reach out."
Lt. McConkey says the majority of these kinds of "sexts" are sent from a computer. In this most recent rash of messages, the sender is using a Google Voice number, which she says makes it extremely difficult to track. And, it can take just one person falling for the message to make it worth the sender's time, "Sometimes, people are curious. People can get defrauded all sorts of ways. Unfortunately, where there's a will, there's a way," says McConkey, "All we can do is hope to educate."
Images: Two parts of the group "sext" message hitting smart phones in Central Oregon, in the past two weeks.