by: Lorena Inclan, ActionNewsJax.com
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A never-before-seen text message scam could put a local woman’s financial history in jeopardy.
The Better Business Bureau learned about it thanks to it being reported through its Scam Tracker system.
Mikkayla Holliday, 18, showed Action News Jax the text messages she received Monday that were so startling they got her right out of bed.
“I heard my phone ding so I looked at it and it had my Social Security number and it said ‘Oh your Social Security number popped up in our system,’” Holliday said.
The person claimed to be “Mario from MasterCard” but when she asked him to get rid of her information, it quickly turned threatening.
“They said they need $295 or else or else they would leak my information out to the public,” Holliday said.
The alleged scam artist also claimed to have her birthday and even sent a screen shot with her current address, phone number and email.
“I started breaking down crying because I was so scared because I’ve had people steal my identity when I was living in Alaska, they stole everything,” Holliday said.
Holliday said she reported the incident to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
“He said that the messages looked like they were sent from a computer,” Holliday said.
Shannon Nelson with the BBB said this scam is troubling.
“Usually, they’ll have the last four of the social, not the full Social Security number,” Nelson said. With that much information, she added, the scammer has all he or she needs to steal your identity.
“If you receive something like this, you don’t ignore it, you need to take action immediately,” Nelson said.
Taking action is exactly what Holliday did. She’s already contacted the credit bureaus and filed an identity theft affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission. She still doesn’t know how the scammer got her personal information but she said she’s changing her habits.
“It happened to me, it could happen to anybody,” Holliday said.
According to Holliday, the police officer who took her report tried calling the number that was texting her. Holliday said someone answered but as soon as the officer identified himself the person on the other end hung up.
Action News Jax also tried calling but no one answered. Reporter Lorena Inclan received a text message a few minutes later asking “Who is this.” She answered but we still haven’t heard back yet.
This year alone, 116 scams of all kinds have been reported to the BBB’s Scam Tracker.