Have you been getting weird text messages lately — from yourself?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and you’re probably not having an out-of-body experience. The latest trend in spam text messages involves mobile phone users receiving texts from what appears to be their own phone number.
The messages typically claim to be from the user’s wireless carrier, referencing the recipient’s wireless bill and including a link to a “free gift.” Spoiler alert: The link leads to potentially malicious websites instead, according to users on Reddit and Twitter.
It’s all potentially very confusing. Here’s what you need to know about these spam texts, and what you can do about them:
Why am I getting these texts?
“As part of a recent fraud scheme, bad actors have been sending text messages to some Verizon customers which appear to come from the customers’ own number,” Verizon spokesperson Rich Young said. “Since uncovering the scheme, our company has made a significant effort to limit the current activity.”
Young noted a recent uptick in spam text messages across all wireless carriers, and said Verizon is “actively working with others in our industry and with U.S. law enforcement as part of an investigation aimed at identifying and stopping these fraudsters and their illegal actions.”
Robokiller, a company that makes a mobile app to block spam calls and texts, said it had tracked more than 5,000 incidents of the same-number spam text messages over the past week, as of Thursday.
According to Robokiller, typical versions of the spam texts feature messages that say, “Free Msg: Your bill is paid for March,” along with a dubious link that claims to offer a free gift. In other cases, the spam message includes a link that claims to take the recipient to a Verizon survey, according to CNET.
A writer for The Verge noted…
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