Top 10 Covid-19 Text Messaging Scams

As we enter the final stretch of 2021 and the COVID emergency is waning, fraudsters trying to take your information and money are still going strong. It is important for you and your loved ones to be diligent as the stakes and ability for phishing & smishing attacks are increasing by the day. My company, KONTXT, battles criminals using human analysts, AI, and predicate rules to thwart fraudulent activity as it happens. We also look at both short and long term trends to spot new techniques employed by criminals to take your money.

Here are the top 10 text message scams we’ve seen over the past few months. (We do not disclose the bleeding edge scams as our honeypots and analysts are still collecting, reviewing, and probing these campaigns for our machine learning models).

  • We are all affected by COVID-19, If you are feeling very low because of your moneyworries, Family Foundation is given out some money. Get more info with this link https://<URL>
  • Hi, You stand a chance to receive $700 Covid-19 Grant/Aid offered by PCH/United Nation(U.N) Pls Click the link to apply: https://<URL> . Thanks
  • COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the economy and the way we do business. ACE MYSTERY SHOPPING ® is beginning an exceptionally huge research project in your area. This project happens each week, so we have to select Shoppers to function as a store evaluator. You will get $400 on every task. Every task requires 20-30 minutes of time to review your post-visit reports. Follow this link below to know more and apply. https://<URL>
  • DIRECT RELIEF INTERNATIONAL is offering Covid-19 Relief Fund of $750 per week for the next 4 weeks at no cost. For more info and application, Kindly visit https://<URL>
  • Walmart and the Walmart Foundation generally provide more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind to assist individuals and small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The program offers up to $10,000 per household. Click the Application Link below to reach the formhttps://<URL
  • Good day! how are you doing today? This is Jimmy from Verizion Network Company. We are giving out $1500 to the user of our Verizion Service for this period of COVID-19 pandemic, Do you use Verizion wireless Network? If yes kindly text your number to this email (  <EMAIL> ) and received your $1500 ASAP
  • Affected By Covid-19? Congress has finally agreed to the $900 billion stimulus plan to help Americans and businesses to ease of coronavirus pandemic this includes student, business owners, self-employed workers, retired, disabled, independent contractors, and those with a limited work host who are out business or have significantly reduced their services as a direct result of the pandemic. To Claim, go to; https://<URL After your claim, refer to our step-by-step claims process. You’ll learn what to expect and the actions you need to take during your claim to receive.
  • Apply for the Covid-19 Relief Fund provided by Active Payrolls & Walmart Foundation.APPLY NOW:https://<URL
  • Round 7: Individual & California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. To complete pre-approval process, please follow the link https://<URL>
  • This message is from Publisher Clearing House (PCH) together with COVID-19 SUPPORT. If you receive this text, it means you are eligible for up to $125,000.00 in our response to the COVID19 pandemic. Kindly click the link below for registration and more details.https://<URL>

What can you do to protect yourself?

Maintain a “defensive posture”. Remain skeptical. Spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues.

The government would not ask you to pay fees and charges in advance in order to receive relief money. If a major brand is sending you an offer that is too good to be true, it is likely a phishing attempt.

Did you receive a claim that your account or SSN will be locked? It is highly improbable that your account will be blocked due to a pandemic and if it were to be blocked, do you really think that information would be relayed to you via an informal text?

Lastly, take a closer look at the url you are viewing– criminals are cleverly creating domains that look like government sites. They are now creating SSL certificates to make them appear even more legitimate.

Knowledge is POWER. They are out there trying to take your money. If you have examples of message or voice fraud, please contact us:

Our new service, KONTXT for Voice, brings our effective SMS Text and Image blocking AI tech to robo and human-based phone phishers. Stay tuned for an incredible sample of what we catch on the phone.