A provocative text message is being sent to men throughout the Hudson Valley, and it may do more damage than you think.

On Thursday I received a text that instantly caught my attention. It was a picture of a half-dressed woman with a message for someone named Mike. The message was constructed to look like it was sent to the wrong number by mistake, but its purpose was actually much more sinister.

After sharing a screenshot of the message on Facebook I was shocked to find out just how many other Hudson Valley residents received similar texts. Some of them even fell for the trap, making themselves vulnerable to scammers.

iPhone screenshot
iPhone screenshot

The sexy photo came from a number with a Pennsylvania area code and was accompanied by this message:

how's everything been mike where have u been? just wanted to let u know, im down to come by for a bit, im in Newburgh doing some work if (you) would like to get together.

I immediately knew it was a scam so I blocked the number, took a screenshot and shared it on my Facebook page for a good laugh. That's when I found out how many other people also received the same message. Comments on the photo included dozens of screenshots of similar text messages sent to people throughout the Hudson Valley. The pictures and messages were all similar to mine. However, some people had replied to the text, and the conversation that followed may have put their privacy in serious danger.

The dozens of examples of conversations with the scammer all seem to have the same pattern. The victim replies letting the texter know that they've reached a wrong number and receives a message back apologizing. The scammer then goes on to explain that they're from "out of town" and don't know anyone in the area. The messages continue, attempting to find out more information about the victim. The conversation eventually gets more flirtatious and winds up with the scammer sending a link to their "webcam."

We haven't seen any examples of people who have gone so far to click on the link, but it's likely that doing so isn't going to lead to a webcam, but will instead open a virus that could leave your phone vulnerable to hackers.

Scams like this aren't new, but the brazen, localized version that is targeting residents and mentions actual Hudson Valley towns is something that we haven't really seen before. Experts suggest just deleting any text messages you receive from unknown senders. And if the message contains any links, do not click them under any circumstances.

Have you received one of these sexy text messages? You can share your experiences and screenshots on our Facebook page.

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