Businesses often send one-time passwords, account alerts and appointment confirmations via text. But if you've ever received one of those, you know they tend to come from a random number, and bad actors can take advantage of that by disguising phishing scams as one of those messages. To protect users, Google will soon verify SMS messages from registered businesses.
When you receive a message from a verified business, you'll see the company name, logo and a verification badge in the message thread. Businesses must sign up to use Verified SMS, and so far, 1-800-Flowers, Banco Bradesco, Kayak, Payback and SoFi are on-board. Verified SMS is rolling out gradually in the US, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Mexico, Philippines, Spain and the UK.
Google is also adding real-time spam detection. When Google suspects a message is phishy or garbage, it will show a spam warning in Messages. You can help improve the feature by reporting spam texts and vouching for texts from legitimate businesses.
All of this is in addition to the Rich Communication Services (RCS) that Google introduced last month. Thanks to that feature, Android users in the US can get added Messages perks, like being able to chat over Wi-Fi, send high-quality messages and get read receipts.