Many Verizon customers are reporting receiving an odd text message that appears to have been sent from the customer’s own phone number.  It reads “Free Msg: Your bill is paid for March.  Thank, here’s a little gift for you.”   The message contains a link for you to click on to get your “gift.”  The message isn’t coming from your phone, but is made to appear to have been sent from your phone by using a technique called “spoofing” which enables the person sending the message to disguise the real number sending the message and make it appear to come from whatever number the sender wishes.

The goal of this smishing text message (the name for a phishing message sent as a text message) is to lure you into clicking on the link, which you should not do.  In some instances, clicking on the link may take you to an official appearing Verizon website that will ask you for personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Alternatively, merely clicking on the link, in some instances may download dangerous malware, such as keystroke logging malware.

TIPS

As I often tell you, whenever you get a phone call, text message or email, you can never be sure who is actually communicating with you so anytime you are asked for personal information, asked for a payment or asked to click on a link you should not do it unless and until you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate.  In this case, there are no circumstances under which this text message could be legitimate so the best thing to do is to merely delete it.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was  cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive  free daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and type in your email address in the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”