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Why you might get a spam text from your own phone number
© Antonio Guillem | Dreamstime.com
Security & privacy

Did you get a spam text from your OWN number? You’re not alone

Spam comes in various forms, with the most popular choice of criminals being phishing emails and text messages. Unsolicited communication is usually easy to spot as the number won’t be in your contacts. Tap or click here to stop junk text messages and spam for good.

But what happens when you check your mobile phone only to see that the most recent spam message is from your own number? Unfortunately, that is what some users have been grappling with over the last few days.

Read on to see why this is happening and what you can do about it.

Here’s the backstory

First reported over the weekend, several Verizon users took the company’s support forum to complain about spam text messages that seemingly originated from their devices. A user explained that the messages are sent from “Me” and claims they paid their March phone bill.

But that’s not all. The rest of the message includes a link as “a little gift for you.” The user correctly states that legitimate Verizon messages usually start with “VZW FREE MSG” and are unwilling to click on a random link.

While it has all the classic signs of an elaborate spam campaign, Verizon is unsure how it is possible. In a statement acknowledging the messages, the company says it is “actively working to block these messages.” In addition, U.S. law enforcement is involved in identifying the origins to try to stop them.

This isn’t the first time that spammers have targeted Verizon users. In October last year, the company sent a warning about a similar scam. Unfortunately, those messages also included a link, and it’s unclear where it goes.

What you can do about it

There might not be a consensus yet on how the messages can come from your number, but there are a few things that you can do to keep yourself safe.

  • If you are unsure about the authenticity of a text message or email, you can check with Verizon if it’s your carrier. You should also forward any spam messages to the company for investigation and to alert other users.
  • Never reply with the words “Stop” or “Unsubscribe” to spam messages. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for even more annoyance. You rightfully think that you’re putting an end to the noise, but you’ll make it worse.
  • Never click on links or download attachments in unsolicited text messages or emails. They could be malicious and infect your device with malware.

Keep reading

What to do when you get a text with a verification code you didn’t request

Clicking on one of these texts allows devious malware to take over your phone

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