A text message from an unknown number that simply says: hi, how are you? seems harmless. Your first instinct might be to respond to see if it’s someone you know. Or maybe tell them they made a mistake. But it’s best to ignore these type of text messages. Scammers are using this tactic as a conversation starter, so don’t text back. If you do, here’s what happens next.

The person (a scammer) on the other end of the text will probably apologize…and find a way to keep the conversation going to befriend you. Then, once they have your trust, they’ll try to offer you advice on investing in cryptocurrency or claim they can teach you the secrets to making big money in the crypto markets. For a fee, of course. But it’s all a scam and they’ll just steal your money.

Even if you just reply to the text but don’t engage in conversation, you’ve still confirmed they reached a working telephone number. Which could lead to more calls and texts from scammers.

What’s the best way to avoid scams if you’re getting messages from numbers you don’t recognize?

  • Don’t reply to text messages from unknown numbers. It could lead to a scam. Delete and report them using your phone’s “report junk” option or forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 (SPAM) and unwanted emails to your email provider.
  • Never click links in an unexpected message. Some links might steal your information, or install malware that gives scammers access to your device.
  • Don’t trust anyone who says you can quickly and easily make money. Every investment has risks. Only scammers guarantee you’ll make lots of money in a short time with zero risk.

Have you lost money to a scam like this? Tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.


Hi, how are you? phone text bubble image coming from “unknown#”  Seems like an innocent message, but it leads to a scam.  Ignore and block unwanted texts


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Submitted by Pat on June 3, 2024 | 11:42AM


This is a wonderful post. I was raised to be polite and courteous. However with all the impolite and devious people trolling for the nice "suckers" I really do appreciate your advice. My kids tell me this often. Sadly it is not always wise to be polite anymore. Particularly if the courtesy bites you in the long-run. I will have to Toughen Up! Like it or not. Thank you for the reminder.

Submitted by Pat on June 3, 2024 | 4:09PM


My (ADULT) children have been telling me this exact same thing for years. I am sort of sorry to say I am of the generation where we were taught to be polite and courteous to all. It really truly pains me not to be nice to people. (You know the "Golden Rule?) (Oh,I bet many of you do not) Let me refresh the memory. " Do to OTHERS what you would want them to do to you". I am sure that few people take that to heart these days. How sad. I really do mean that. I recently turned 70. I very probably will continue my antiquated ways.