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January 15, 2013

Possible New Skype Text Scam

By Carlos Olivera, TMCnet Content Producer

According to a report out of Virginia, there appears to be a new Skype Text Scam circulating. Thieves are sending text messages to random phone numbers asking to be added on Skype (News - Alert), only to later steal personal information.

Strangers are receiving either malicious links that will download a virus on your computer, or texts asking to be added to your Skype contacts. Text message read something like this: “Hey Emmy! This is Jenny. Please add my Skype so we can chat a bit, its: dana.luciop.”

Skype is advising its users to ignore and report any spam messages they receive.

 ”As a general word of caution, it's never advisable to respond to a text message from an unknown number. Skype also urges its users not to accept a contact request from someone they don't know. We have investigated and blocked the Skype user name involved in this scam," a Skype spokesperson said in an e-mail to TMC (News - Alert).

Although this scam seems like a couple of small isolated incidents, Skype said in an e-mail, “As far as we know, it’s actually not very widespread,” one of TMC’s own employees reported recently receiving a similar text message to those included in these  reports.

“I actually received a text message one night just like this from a random phone number. Knowing better, I didn’t click the link, or do anything with it.”

When the TMC staff member tried to call the original number of the text message, a note that the Pinger (News - Alert) account has been used and could not be reached was the only outcome.

The text itself said something like, “I like your Facebook page, please add me on Skype.” 

This scam may not be widespread yet, but with similar incidents happening in Virginia and Connecticut, it seems this latest scam attempt may be getting larger.

Users should thus always be weary of texts or friend requests from people they don’t know.

Skype has had similar problems dating back to just last November, when many users were locked out of their own accounts. There was a flaw in Skype’s system that allowed users to sign up for a service with the e-mails that were in use. This locked users out of their own accounts, essentially replacing them with another user.

Skype eventually corrected the problem, but it goes to show the extra security measures users need to take while browsing the Internet.

Although Skype offers security and safety tips on their website, the company urges its users to report any scammers to either their cell phone provider, or Skype directly at [email protected]

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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