Have you recently received a text message…from your own phone number?
If so, do not click the link you were sent! You obviously didn’t send it to yourself. And your phone carrier, likely Verizon in this case, did not send it to you either.
According to Verizon Wireless, the company is currently investigating a mass spam text message campaign targeting its customers.
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“Verizon is aware that bad actors are sending spam text messages to some customers which appear to come from the customers’ own number,” a Verizon spokesperson stated in a statement first provided to The Verge. “Our team is actively working to block these messages, and we have engaged with US law enforcement to identify and stop the source of this fraudulent activity. Verizon continues to work on behalf of the customer to prevent spam texts and related activity.”
The spam tactic of spoofing a target’s phone number and then calling or texting them is not new. Phone numbers from all carriers are susceptible to these kinds of spammy marketing messages and scams. However, this specific spam campaign seems fairly widespread among Verizon Wireless customers specifically.
While all of these spam messages try to direct their targets to a link, it seems that the type of links being sent greatly vary. Some Verizon customers have reported being sent a link to a fake customer survey. A classic spam text message tactic telling the target that they need to click a link to claim a free gift as a result of paying their most recent phone bill is also being deployed here. Another spam message attempts to send Verizon customers to the website for Russian state-owned news network, Channel One Russia.
Complaints to the FCC regarding spam text messages have continued to rise, showing this is clearly a widespread problem in recent years. However, it’s unclear why this specific flood of spam texts appears to be targeting Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is one of the largest U.S. wireless carriers. But, AT&T is as well, yet the latter’s customers don’t appear to be experiencing this influx of spam texts at this time. Verizon says that its systems have not been compromised in any way that would result in these spam texts being sent to their customers.
Mashable will update this story as new information comes out. But for now, readers, definitely do not click on any links in your text messages that ask you to fill out surveys or offer you free gifts.
How to report a spam text
Verizon recommends that spam messages be reported immediately at S-P-A-M (7726). You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Verizon says it will never ask for personal or account information by text message.
According to Verizon, do not:
Respond to the text message in any way
Click any links
Open any attachments
Provide any data to any websites mentioned
If you did click or provide personal information in response to a suspicious text message, you should contact Verizon to help secure your account, and reach out to any financial institutions or other services you believe may be impacted, according to Verizon’s website.