Consumer Alert: Experts warn of text and TV scams

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Experts say there are some new scams making the rounds, including one that claims it can save you big money on TV service, and other scams that can show up right on your phone.

Many people are aware of email scams, but the Federal Trade Commission says that the fastest growing scam actually uses a different form of communication -- text messages.

"We call these scans 'smishing,' which stands for SMS fishing," says Melissa Companick, with the Better Business Bureau. "We’re kind of conditioned to now ignore phone calls that we don’t recognize and delete emails that we think are spam. But text messages, we’re kind of conditioned to respond to right away -- and that’s what the scammers are counting on."

Listen to a companion Kane In Your Corner podcast on 'smishing':

To protect yourself, don’t text sensitive information. Instead use secure apps for banking and other financial matters.

Don’t click on links because malware can affect phones as well as computers. Remember that the IRS or government won’t text you, especially to collect money. And don’t reply “Stop” to unsubscribe to unwanted texts; all that does is confirm your phone is active.

The BBB is also warning about a new scam that claims to offer ridiculous discounts on cable or satellite TV. The scammer will offer an outrageously low price as long as buyers prepay for several months in advance. And they'll want that payment using gift cards or prepaid cards -- a sure sign you're not dealing with a real company.

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