Who’s Texting You?

Have you been receiving unwanted texts from mystery numbers? You’re not alone. Here’s how to quickly find out who’s texting you without giving away sensitive information in the process.

Who Could It Be?

We’ve all received texts from strangers at some point or another. Perhaps it is someone you know who just happens to have a new number and isn’t in your contacts. Or maybe it’s someone texting a wrong number (often the funniest scenario).

Other times, however, it can be a bit more sinister. Scammers are no longer limited to appearing in your inbox or online dating profile – they’ve embraced texting too.

Scam texts (also known as “Smishing” – a play on “Phishing” and SMS) lure you into providing personal information or clicking devious links, often touting some sort of prize giveaway.

Needless to say, no reputable bank or company contacts people out of the blue via text, but that doesn’t stop many people from falling for it and passing along their credit card info in the process.

What You Can Do

The first thing to always remember when receiving an unexpected text from a mystery remember is do not respond immediately. Although it may be tempting to ask “who are you?,” you can try and answer that question yourself first. It’s time to do some research.

Don’t bother with Google to search a phone number. You likely won’t find much. Your best bet for discovering who’s texting you is to use a people search engine. Simply enter the mystery number into the search box and run what’s called a reverse phone lookup. After a few seconds you may find their full name, age, address and more.

If you still don’t recognize them, you can still run a quick search on the name for a profile that may include more information, including pics and social media profiles. Your mystery texter will not be notified that you searched them.

If you recognize the name, feel free to respond and add them to your contacts.

Still don’t recognize them? It’s probably best to walk away. Don’t click on links, don’t provide personal information (even your name). Just ignore it, block the number, and move on. Better safe than sorry.