Verizon Customers Are Receiving Spam Texts Sent From Their Own Numbers—Here’s What To Know
This week, a number of Verizon customers received a suspicious text message sent from their own phone numbers.
“Free Msg: Your bill is paid for March. Thanks, here’s a little gift for you,” the message reads, along with a link where you can purportedly claim said gift.
Verizon has confirmed that the messages are some sort of scam organized by as yet unidentified “bad actors.”
“Our team is actively working to block these messages, and we have engaged with U.S. law enforcement to identify and stop the source of this fraudulent activity,” a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement to CNET.
If you’ve gotten one of these messages, don’t click the link. Right now, the safest course of action is to simply delete the text. If you want to report the incident to Verizon before deleting it, you can do so by forwarding the message to the number 7726.
Some people have opened the link, which doesn’t deliver everyone to the same site. According to CNET, certain users were asked to complete a Verizon survey, after which they’d supposedly be given a free Apple Watch. Others (including The Verge’s Chris Welch, who first reported the scam on Monday), were taken to the website of Channel One Russia, a state-operated Russian broadcast network. Verizon spokesperson Rich Young told The New York Times that the company doesn’t have any evidence to suggest that the messages were actually sent from Russia.
If you already clicked the link in this particular phishing message—or, more accurately, “smishing” message, short for “SMS phishing”—don’t panic. According to Young, these types of scams are typically aimed at tricking people into submitting credit card details rather than spreading viruses.
Representatives from AT&T and T-Mobile both told The New York Times that their customers hadn’t been targeted by the same scammers. But if you have, you can report the message (or any other spam) by forwarding it to 7726, too.