The texts are coming from INSIDE THE HO— nah, it’s just spammers
Spam calls are a real problem these days, and no matter how many attempts carriers and government agencies make to curtail them, nothing seems to get better. Although not quite as frustrating, spam text messages are also on the rise, flooding your inbox with dangerous links and promises of quick cash infusions. Lately, Verizon customers have noticed a suspicious source for these texts — themselves — and now, the carrier thinks it knows why.
As reported by The Verge, some Verizon subscribers have been receiving spam messages from their own phone numbers lately, with their contact pages appearing as the source for dubious links. Although it wasn’t initially obvious that every target of these texts has anything in common, additional reports on Monday quickly pointed to Big Red as the only affected source. I can attest to this — my primary phone number is connected to Verizon, and I received one of these messages late last night.
Now, Verizon has issued a statement regarding these ongoing attacks, tackling a couple of ongoing theories while ensuring customers that action is being taken. First, the carrier is attempting to block these senders from reaching subscribers, all while law enforcement agencies try to find the source of this latest spam onslaught. Verizon has also ensured users that this push is all external, with no direct source tying it back to a breach at the company itself.
Of course, anyone who dared to click the link — which promised some sort of gift card as a reward for paying your bill — found themselves whisked away to a Russian news website, seemingly tying the country to this attack. However, Verizon told The Verge, “We have no indication that this fraudulent activity is originating in Russia.” Unless new information shows up in the coming days showing otherwise, it seems like the ties to Channel One Russia are purely coincidental.
Aside from your phone number being spoofed, this latest spam campaign (spam-paign?) isn’t too out of the ordinary — I’ve received similar bill messages from addresses attempting to look like a local bank in my area. You have to give whoever is behind the attack some credit, though. Disguising your texts as from the person’s own number is a surefire way to gain attention.
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