HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Have you been receiving text messages that inform you someone has complimented you? Some of us at WHNT News 19 have been too, so we wanted to find out who or what is behind the messages and how you can keep them from coming to your Messages box.
The messages typically say a similar thing: "Someone has complimented you!" or "You've been sent a compliment!" Then, the message links to an app in the App Store or Play Store. That app, we discovered, is called "IRL: Let's hang." It wants you to download the app before you can see what the compliment is.
The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama told us the app has not been reported on their Scam Tracker.
"There haven't been any reports on our scam tracker that it has been a scam," said Julia Cherry, Director of Communications, Marketing, and Events for the BBB of North Alabama. "If somebody does experience that, then we would love to know and we would be more than happy to look into it."
She said in general, the BBB recommends that consumers be careful when downloading apps.
"It's best to read the terms and conditions, and privacy policies, for any app when you download it," Cherry said. "When you do download it, you're automatically agreeing to those terms. You could be giving all apps connections to your contacts and your microphone. You want to be careful and make sure you are taking the time to read everything you are agreeing to before you download any apps."
She added that if a number you don't know is sending you links, it would be unwise generally to open those links.
"We always suggest that if you don't know where the link is coming from, to not click on it," she stated. "This is a legitimate app. However, you never know if you're actually receiving a text from the app or if you're receiving a text from a scammer who is trying to be the app."
If you are talking about the app itself, its website states that it allows users to invite each other to participate in activities, like brunch or festivals, in real life. It claims its mission is to overcome technology addiction and help people send anonymous compliments to one another, even nominating each other for things to recognize skills someone may have. You can read more about it in the FAQ here.
The app's website states that it will not sell a user's information, or message all of their contacts after a download.
It adds, "You received a text message because one of three reasons: one of your friends (who has your phone number in their contacts list) added you as a friend on the app, invited you to something on the app, or nominated you through the app."
To stop receiving messages, the app recommends replying “STOP” to any text message it sends.
We also found this unsubscribe function on the site.