If you are a Verizon Wireless Customer in the United States, you’ve likely received a text message appearing to be sent from your own number within the last several days, your not alone. As reported by The Verge and CNET, and seen across social media, millions of Americans have been receiving messages aiming to trick consumers into visiting obscure websites in exchange for a free reward.
A verizon spokesperson said in an emailed statement “Verizon is aware that bad actors are sending spam text messages to some customers which appear to come from the customers’ own number. 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.” At the moment, however, Verizon says “we have no indication that this fraudulent activity is originating in Russia.”
The spam campaign occurs at a time when many companies and Americans are particularly on-edge for potential retaliatory cyberattacks from Russia due to the increasingly severe sanctions imposed Russia due to its aggression and senseless war.
While there is not much the average American can do other than ignore and delete such messages immediately, making sure to take basic proactive security measures will help keep you protected.
The most simple protection if you receive a mysterious text message encouraging you to click on a link is to verify the origin of the message before taking any further action, even if the contact seems legitimate — including your own phone number.
If you have received a similar message, mention me on Twitter and share a screenshot, I’d love to see what other people are getting!