They have started again - got a call today. Blocked the number with my Norton Anti Virus I have on my phone.
received the txt : "Authorization required by VISA. Please call:(347)8538989"
Lesley-Ann Thompson?s cell phone buzzed the other week with a text message telling her she had won a $1,000 gift card from Best Buy.
?It said my entry had won, and I knew I hadn?t entered anything,? said Thompson, who was sharing late-morning conversation with a friend at Alon?s Bakery and Market in Dunwoody.
Best Buy had nothing to do with the text message, the contest or the alleged gift card. The whole thing was a fraud, as confirmed by Thompson?s fiance. He searched online and discovered a list of responses from people that said they had received a similar message on their mobile phones.
?It didn?t surprise me, actually,? Thompson said.
But some consumers may be lured in by what seems like free money. They open an attached link or call the number included in the message. After following a few prompts, someone has their financial or personal information as well as the ability to steal money from them.
As more people buy Smartphones, the opportunity for scams becomes more attractive. Mobile phone consumers received 1.5 billion text spam messages in 2008, for example. In 2011, that figure shot up to 4.5 billion text spam messages, according to Ferris Research, a market research firm that tracks mobile spam.
While striking, those numbers are significantly less than one percent of all text messages that go out, said Lance Skelly, spokesman for Atlanta-based AT&T Mobility, the nation?s No. 2 wireless carrier.
Text spamming is illegal, but that?s not stopping spammers, who typically start by sending out tens of thousands of messages at once. Most use a computer to generate millions of mobile phone number combinations, hoping even a fraction of those numbers are working and that someone will respond.
Skelly at AT&T Mobility warned of recent scams such as one that emerged after Hurricane Isaac. Customers reported receiving text spam messages saying they had qualified for public assistance to recover from storm damage.
?Most people would probably figure out it?s not a legitimate website,? he said. ?Sometimes these messages prey on people who are having a hard time and who are in a real need.?
Mobile phone companies are trying to fight back with a combination of internal security measures and by asking customers to aggressively report spam messages to their wireless carrier.
Security company Cloudmark created a spam messaging reporting service that nation?s major wireless carriers agreed earlier this year to start using. Now, customers of AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint and others can forward their text spam message to 7726. The mobile phone carrier will ask customers for the phone number that?s linked to the spam message so they and Cloudmark can start investigating.
?Whenever [a spam message] comes to you, it doesn?t mean you shouldn?t say anything to anybody,? said Jeff Blyskal, a senior editor at Consumer Reports magazine.
Two federal laws ban text spam in most instances. A few cases have made it to the courts. Last year the Federal Trade Commission settled a case against an alleged spammer accused of sending unsolicited commercial messages pitching mortgage modification services to consumers. The man also was accused of misrepresenting that he was affiliated with a government agency.
Christine Todaro, an attorney with the FTC, said customer complaints were ?pivotal? in prosecuting the case. The man was banned from sending future text messages as part of the settlement reached.
Not every text message from a retailer, mobile phone company or service provider is spam. But companies are prohibited by federal law from sending out messages unless a customer gives an ?OK,? which is usually by signing up online or in a store.
?If something doesn?t look right, look into it,? said Kate Jay, an Atlanta-area spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless.
If a message instructs you to type ?STOP,? saying you won?t get any more texts, the opposite is true. Sending ?STOP? only confirms that the mobile phone number is a working one. At the very least, ignore the text spam message, though experts point out that doesn?t help track down the source.
Customers who are attached to their Smartphones, frequently making sure they haven?t missed a text message, phone call or email, become a captive audience for spammers. If a consumer gets a text message purporting to be from a store they frequent or from their bank, they are more likely to think the message is a valid one. This means the chances of that person responding to the spam message have gone up significantly.
?That?s the common misperception: people think that this is targeted to them personally. That someone has their number, and that it?s really meant for them,? said Mary Landesman, senior security researcher at Cloudmark, a San Fransisco-based firm that provides messaging security for major wireless carriers.
Going to the website to redeem that too good to be true offer or calling the number listed in the text spam message to what you think is your bank may seem innocent enough. But then customers are asked to give their account login and password. Or, they could be asked to hand over credit card information, the card?s security code and their social security number.
?And so now you?re giving some stranger your username and password to your bank information, and then they can log in and do whatever they want,? said Blyskal at Consumer Reports.
In cases where customers willingly give up their credit card and other personal and financial information, those numbers end up being sold to other cybercriminals.
For customers who have limited data plans or who are charged per text message, receiving several text spam messages a month can be costly. Spam messages that include audio, videos or photos can cost even more for customers who don?t have data plans.
[Text spam] is illegal for a reason, it costs people money,? Skelly at AT&T Mobility said.
This scam is still a new one to me. Just began receiving the same exact texts 4x in the middle of the night. Anyone have any idea if Bank of America is working on a solution for this?
Dazed and Abused
text message from firstname.lastname@example.org
Authorization required by VISA.
Please call: 8538-989
I called it and a recording says something about a Visa debit card problem,
and then keeps asking for my 16 digit card number.
Really, is there anybody left out there that falls for a scam this lame?
call from 347-853-8989 stating authorization needed by VISA...can you say scam?
Received this suspicious text today from this exact number. email@example.com was the sender
Just got a text message on my cell from firstname.lastname@example.org: Authorization required by VISA. Please call 347-853-8989
Bill Donton Clintion
Mine said email@example.com... These people are retatred and i reported them to the federal athuoiries
I just received what amounts to the same thing, just based on the pisspoor grammar, it was clear that something was amiss. There was no indication of what bank or attempt to list a card number.......
Came in as a text message from firstname.lastname@example.org
Authorization required by VISA. Please call: 8538-989
What a jolly a** joke.......
Got a message saying "Authorization required by VISA. Please call: [347-8538-989]
Apparently they've gotten into the Visa account holders as well.
Just got similar text: from email@example.com stating "Authorization required by VISA. Please call: [347-8538-989]" First clue, Visa spelled with the number 1 instead of an "i", second clue, the spacing of the telephone number!!! I dialed the number just to give them a taste of their own!!!
I received a text requesting an authorization required by visa from firstname.lastname@example.org
Second day ina row I am receiving an SMS to my cell phone from email@example.com - Authorization required by VISA. Please call 
I had a text sent reguarding my VISA. Text number was from firstname.lastname@example.org
the number sent me a text message saying authorization required by visa please call 347853-8989 is that a scam too?
Actually, there are a few sites that can verify if a card number is legitimate, as well as some equations that can be done quickly to tell if it's a valid number. Probably goes into that service. If you enter in a randomly generated valid number it'll probably think it got something.
That's a rough statement to make but you're right. It's amazing how stupid some people can actually be.
Just got this message stating it's from VISA. It's NOT from VISA, Bank of America, Chase, whatever.
For the love of everything that is good and holy on God's green earth - Banks and other financial institutions DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT simply reach out to you and ask you to verify a card number and PIN.
The only time they do ask you that information is when YOU call THEM (or walk into a branch).
Please don't give out financial information of any kind when an unsolicited query has been made.
I received a text today from email@example.com: Authorization required by VISA. Please call(347)8538-989
I believe I have heard that the first four digits of any credit/debit card do identify the issuing bank, so these scammers have figured out which first four digits are associated with B of A. That doesn't mean they have the rest of your info though. As for the phone number, they may have simply counted on the fact that many people do have an account with B of A.
What can we do to prevent the following msgs from 347-853-8989:
"Authorization required by VISA. Please call: 347-853-8989".
Something needs to be done to stop these scams. How dare they!
Miguel in RGV Texas
My wife and I just got this text: firstname.lastname@example.org: Activation required for VISA card [4356.0300.XXXX.XXXX]. Please call [347-8538-989]....
I havent calledor retunred the text, but I guess based on the previous comments it might be someone trying to get our information. I'm reporting it to the local FBI.
just received a text from email@example.com requesting validation for a Visa card 4356.0300.xxxx.xxxx to call the above number.
just googled both
Report it to your states attorney general's office or the securitys exchange commission. They are the ones who really look into what is taking place. Good luck folks! I hate these calls too.
Please call in order to validate Visa card #######xxxxxxxxx
Same again B.o.A. General notification #408YU5 Please call 347 853 8989
Same here, received the message also its happened before going to block # "B.o.A. General notification #4083F25. Please call (347)8538989
just got this one, same as all the rest of the complaints
I did the same thing you did! I called *67 then the number and enter in various 16 digit number. The recording stated that was an invalid card number! So, they probably have our numbers and need additional info i.e. 3 digits on back, exp. date, etc. How scary!