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People are getting spam texts from their own numbers (Updated: Verizon response)

Update: Verizon is working with US authorities to tackle the problem.
By
March 29, 2022
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TL;DR
  • People are reportedly getting spam texts from their own phone numbers.
  • These spam messages are mostly affecting Verizon customers.
  • The spoofed texts show up as bill payment messages promising free gifts.

Update: March 29, 2022 (9:45 PM ET): Verizon has issued a response to The Verge regarding the spam texts people are receiving from themselves. The carrier says it is aware that “bad actors” are responsible for the spoofed messages. “We have no indication that this fraudulent activity is originating in Russia,” the carrier confirmed.

“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. Verizon continues to work on behalf of the customer to prevent spam texts and related activity,” Verizon assured in its statement.


Original article, March 29, 2022 (12:35 AM ET): If you recently got a spam text from your own phone number, you are not alone. The problem is reportedly widespread and affects many customers in the US (h/t The Verge).

The messages appear to be coming from people’s own numbers. Tapping the sender’s details will also show you your own contact information. That’s because these are spoof messages that allow the sender to manipulate contact information.

Reports about spoof texts emerging from people’s own mobile numbers have surged in numbers on Reddit and Twitter over the last few days. The spam seems to be affecting Verizon customers the most, but as The Verge reports, subscribers on other carriers are also seeing similar texts.

The texts usually appear as bill payment alerts offering a free gift. It’s advisable not to click the links within the SMS as it could compromise the security of your device and your personal information. Some folks who ended up opening the links were redirected to Russian websites. Check out an example of the spoof text in the tweet below.

So many technological failures involved in letting someone spam people by spoofing their own number while the phone’s OS thinks that maybe, just maybe, it was actually me texting myself but it can’t be sure. pic.twitter.com/J5rbZ41BB9
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) March 29, 2022

Verizon Support has asked customers to forward the spam texts from their own numbers to shortcode 7726. However, those who did that were told by the carrier to block the number. The thing is, most people don’t want to end up blocking their own phone number or reporting it as spam.

Please forward any spam message to short code 7726. If there’re additional inquiries, please Follow/DM us.
-Joey
— Verizon Support (@VerizonSupport) March 29, 2022

So what can you do? It seems the only solution, for now, is to report the problem to the FCC. The complaint page allows you to select “my own number is being spoofed” as an issue. You can also call your carrier to understand the problem further and seek a solution. If Verizon or any other carrier puts out an official word on it, we’ll be sure to update the article.

Next: How to change your Verizon phone number