PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police are urging the public to beware of spam text messages.

Authorities say there’s been an increase in text message scams, which usually involve unsolicited messages from unknown numbers.

These messages, which offer free gift cards and incentives, are meant to defraud individuals by accessing their bank accounts and personal information through websites that can download malware.

Police caution the public not to call or reply to these numbers – it will only confirm that it is a working number that can be defrauded.

Most cell phone users can forward messages to 7726, which spells “SPAM” on the keypad, alerting carriers to the problem.

About 70 percent of spam text messages are scams, according to a study by Cloudmark.

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