If you’re in the US and have recently received one or more SMS messages from your own phone number, you are not alone. Verizon customers in the US seem to be the worst hit, but reports suggest other carriers are also battling the issue. Here’s how these weird texts work and how you can stay safe.
The Verge reports that people receiving texts from their own numbers are receiving spoof messages. The senders of these texts can manipulate the contact information you see. So, even if you tap on the sender’s details, you will be unable to identify the actual sender because your contact information would be visible instead.
These spam text messages usually contain a bill payment alert with an enclosed link offering a free gift. If this message doesn’t seem fishy enough already, we strongly suggest you do not click on the link in these spam messages. It is always possible that clicking the link could put your personal information and device security at risk. Some people who opened the link claim they were redirected to Russian websites.
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 has acknowledged the problem. It requests all its customers receiving such SMS to forward the text to the shortcode 7726. People who forwarded the messages were advised to block the SMS sender. However, most of us would be reluctant to block our phone number or report it as spam.
Please forward any spam message to short code 7726. If there're additional inquiries, please Follow/DM us.
— Verizon Support (@VerizonSupport) March 29, 2022
One possible solution is to fill out a consumer complaint on the FCC website and explain the issue. You can select the option “my own number is being spoofed” to describe the problem. Meanwhile, you could also try contacting your carrier if you receive spoofed SMS. However, don’t make the mistake of clicking on any included links.
Got any other viable solutions for our readers? Please share them in the comments section below.