TAMPA, Fla. — Floridians are being warned about an emerging text message scheme that offers a “free gift” for paying a bill on time.

Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning residents to never use links from unknown phone numbers or reply to suspicious messages, such as ones promising money or free gifts.

“Scammers will try anything to steal your personal information,” Moody said in a press release. “Their latest trick is simple, but effective – the promise of a gift in exchange for personal information. Don’t fall for it. Never provide personal information in response to a solicitation or click on links contained in a suspicious message.”

Some tips to avoid falling for these texts include the following:

  • Do not click on any links from an unknown sender
  • Refrain from replying to prevent from more texts or calls
  • Block the phone number and delete the message
  • Never send personal or financial information

The Better Business Bureau details recent reports of this scheme, and provides further details on how to spot red flags involving text messages on its website.