Women in southwest Florida are getting text messages from strange numbers, and a state sheriff says it’s linked to a sex trafficking program. Law enforcement says they are aware of it and the best way to avoid it is to not respond.
The women we’ve spoken to say they got a text saying something like, “Hey, are you Finn?” I am Georgia. We met on Clover.
Then when a woman responds by saying, “Hello, you have the wrong number”, the person will try to play and find out more about you and even send a fake selfie.
Those we have spoken to say that if the text is harmless, they are worried about not knowing what it might mean.
“Of course that sounded suspicious, and I instantly texted that exact phrase to Google,” Zamora explained. “That’s when I saw the article circulating about people receiving this similar text message and it sounded like a sex trafficking scam.”
Zamora and many other women in Southwest Florida say they’ve received similar messages. The person sends a text saying something like, “Hello, is this Jason? Is it Allie? We met on Tinder.
“I texted back and said, ‘I think you got the wrong number,'” said Madison Campbell-Nelson. “Then they responded. “
The individual can send a selfie and will try to find out more about the person they are talking to.
“It was really crazy,” said Campbell-Nelson. “I was like ‘Wow, this is happening.'”
An Alabama sheriff posted on Facebook saying that these random tests could be a way for sex traffickers to attract women.
The Cape Coral Police Department told us everyone should beware.
“Spam text messages from someone you don’t know, they are unsolicited, and they should be, you should be wary of these things,” Master Cpl. said Philip Mullen.
If you receive one of these text messages, do not reply. If you do, it lets the person know that your number is legitimate. Instead, block the number. Then forward the suspicious text to 7726 or spam.
Your mobile operator should then reply to you by SMS to request the phone number of the spam SMS and initiate an investigation.
– OK, someone has my phone number, Zamora said. “Is he just an innocent, you know, someone trying to con a romance scam?” Withdraw money from me? Or is it really someone trying to verify that this is a working number and then dig deeper and try to get some info from you or your device? So it’s annoying. “