RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– Scammers are adaptable– always grabbing on to a hot topic to try and steal your money.
Right now, TikTok is on a lot of people’s radar making it a good target for scammers.
The most recent scam involving the app is a fake TikTok verification text message hitting phones throughout the Triangle.
Text scams are not new and come in a variety of forms, and the fake TikTok verification is just the latest version of this scam.
Criminals are using a fake TikTok verification to trick you, and it’s a text message that can alter your life if they steal your identity or get into your accounts.
The TikTok verification message arrives on your phone mixed in with other important messages.
In many cases, there are multiple texts, each following the other by a minute or two.
All of texts indicate you need to click them to verify your TikTok account.
The problem is, they come from different phone numbers and none of those originating phoned numbers are the same.
There are complaints all over the internet about this.
People saying they’re getting unsolicited TikTok codes even though they’ve never used the site or app. Others complain they get those messages from TikTok several times a week.
TikTok is a very popular app, especially among the younger generations.
There’s also been a lot of talk about it, from news stories saying the president wants it banned, to reports of Microsoft trying to buy it, and scammers know that, so they play off that notoriety.
If you get an unrequested verification code, that’s a red flag.
These criminals are phishing. By hitting you up with multiple messages over and over again, they are hoping you will bite. If you click the link– they’ve got you.
There are many scams out there regarding the use of fake verification codes that lead you to links asking for passwords and other personal information.
Once criminals have your information, you’re open to something called “credential stuffing”.
It works like this: scammers sell your information to hackers who buy stolen logins and passwords from the dark web. The hackers then see if that same combo gets them into other online accounts.
That technique is very successful for criminals because most of us never change our passwords.
“If I have your username password from 5 years ago– I probably have it for today,” said security expert Rob Downs, of Managed IT Solutions.
That’s not the only scam involving TikTok that criminals are using.
There are more than a half dozen that have been identified, everything from blackmail to online dating traps.
You can read more about those TikTok scams here.
As a general rule of thumb, be wary of any text message you get asking you to click something, even if you think its from someone you know. Criminals can hack people’s accounts and then send phony texts under someone else’s name.