Verizon is warning customers to not open any text messages that appear to be coming from their own phone number.
The telecommunications company has received complaints from thousands of customers who have received texts that appears to be coming from their own phone number with messages such as “their bill has been paid” and “the company has a gift for them to claim.”
Verizon is warning that these are phishing techniques used to scam users and steal their data, such as vital passwords and credit card information.
It is estimated that U.S. consumers send and receive roughly 20 billion text and media messages a day. On any given day, Verizon reportedly detects and blocks millions of those as unwanted spam text messages. Just as Verizon continues to combat robocalls on behalf of our customers, an estimated 20 billion blocked to date, Verizon says they are working diligently to crack down on spam texts and have put a number of tools in place to prevent them from ever reaching you.
In recent months, Verizon has added additional tools to their arsenal to address newer threats. The company has implemented specific systems at the network level and have deployed targeted tools to monitor and block spam. For example, one of the tools helps the company identify unusual behavior from new numbers, which allows them to act faster on suspicious numbers that send out an unusual number of texts. With the help of automation, their systems are reviewed and updated regularly to take action against new threats, which pop up regularly.
Verizon also partner with leaders and suppliers in the security and anti-abuse industry to tackle the proliferation of spam, phishing and other abuses. These partnerships give them access to global threat intelligence and software to mitigate ever-evolving threats.
What Can Customers Do If They Receive Spam Texts
Despite their ongoing efforts and advancements, customers may still receive unwanted spam texts, but now they can also play a big role in managing and blocking spam. Should a spam text come through, customers can, and should, report it by forwarding to 7726 (spam) on their mobile phones. By reporting the spam, Verizon can identify those specific violations and strengthen their defenses to block spam. Customers can find additional information and instructions on how to forward spam in the security section.
Additional Tips to Protect Yourself:
- Be careful with your number and email. Only share your phone number and email address with people you know.
- Be suspicious of any unsolicited messages. Don’t ever click on links in an email or text message that goes to a website unless you are absolutely sure it is authentic.
- Slow down. Criminals want you to act first and think later. Legitimate organizations will never ask for personal details via email or text message.
Visit “Protecting Customers from Robocalls” to learn more about Verizon’s ongoing work to help prevent the annoying calls and tools to help block or avoid robocalls.