If you get a frightening text message saying that your device will be locked, and includes me a phone number to call, should you call it or is it malware or has your iPhone been hacked? Getting such a scary message out of the blue can be unsettling, but panicking is the very last thing you should do.
You see, all scams work on the premise of fear. Your device will be locked. Your account will be locked. Your email will be deleted. Your phone will be locked. All these messages and similar others are designed to scare you into a panic. Do not panic. Someone is messing with you. Ignore the message. Delete it.
If You Get A Text Message That Says Your Device Will Be Locked, Should You Text Or Call Back?
Such scam messages usually include a number to text or call. And if you respond to that text, you are confirming to the spammer that you are a real person they can mess with. You will likely get more targeted spam or scam messages from them.
Do Not Click On Any Link In Such Messages
“Smishing” is the text version of an email phishing scam. Like phishing, smishing depends on you clicking a link in a spam/scam message from a hacker. Clicking on that link can result in malware being silently installed on your cell phone and identity theft, among others. If you see a link in a text message that says your device will be locked, do not click on it.
What To Do If You Get A Text Message That Says Your Device Will Be Locked
First things first, check to see if your iPhone or other cell phone is on a contract and you are defaulting on your contract. If that is the situation, call your carrier or wireless network operator to tell them about the message you received. They will confirm that they sent you the message or clarify that it isn’t from them. Carriers are aware of these scam and spam messages, though, and so will not likely send you some thing like that, so chances are that it wasn’t from them.
By all means, do not click on a link in any message whose source you cannot verify. It is better to be safe than sorry. Do not reply to the message. If you get an SMS saying that your device will be locked, do not call the number, or any included number, back. You can use your cell phone’s built-in anti-spam feature to block the sender, so they cannot reach you any more.
Most modern smartphones, whether it is an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, Motorola Moto, Nokia, Sony, or some other Android brand, have some sort of blocking feature built in. Use it. Most will allow you to block the sender of a message. Some also come with a feature that allows you to both block and report the number as spam. Do it.
How To Block The Sender Of A Message On iPhone
- On your iPhone, open the Messages app
- Open the message that says your device will be locked
- Tap on the profile photo at the top
- Tap on the Info button
- On the next screen, tap on the phone number,
- Tap on Block this Caller at the bottom of the next screen.
That sender is now blocked from sending you any more messages on your Apple iPhone.
How To Block The Sender Of A Message On Android
- On your Android phone, open the Messages app
- Open the message in question – the one that says your device will be locked
- Tap on the vertical dots icon at the top right corner of the app
- Tap on Details
- Tap on Block and report spam
That sender is now blocked from sending you any more messages on your Android phone. Note that because each individual Android brand modifies Android operating system to some extent, the procedure and nomenclature may differ slightly.
Do not forget: almost all scam messages trigger and depend on fear. The goal is to scare you and make you panic into acting and doing something stupid like replying, calling a number, or clicking on an unverified link. As long as you stay calm, you stand a better chance of not falling victim. So, if you get an SMS saying that your device will be locked, relax and take any, or all, of the above logical steps to address the issue.