As reported last week by multiple sources, according to Verizon “bad actors” are targeting Verizon customers with spam texts that appear to come from the user’s own telephone number. Typically, the text provides the recipient with a link to claim a “gift” or “special gift,” often in conjunction with a fake thank-you for paying your latest Verizon bill (see below). In at least one instance, the link forwarded the user to Channel One Russia, a Russian state media network, though there is no current indication Russian ne’er-do-wells are behind the Verizon customer attacks. Particularly troublesome is it is difficult to block the sender since it appears to come from your own number.

The advice from Verizon and others echoes that we have provided on a continual basis – do not click on suspicious links, whether in an email, in a text message or on a website. Nothing material worth having is free, so any offer of a “special gift” or a “reward” or a “prize,” especially from an unknown source (or from you), immediately falls in the suspicious category.

Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.