Verizon says ‘bad actors’ are to blame for sketchy spoofed spam texts

The company says it's working with law enforcement to identify the perpetrators.

Andrew Kelly / reuters

Verizon is aware of a spam campaign that is targeting its customers with their own phone numbers. As first reported by The Verge, some of the carrier’s subscribers have complained in recent days of receiving text messages that offer “a little gift” for paying off their monthly phone bill, with a link that leads to a Russian website. What has made the campaign unsettling for some is that the perpetrators are spoofing the numbers of their targets.

“Our team is actively working to block these messages, and we have engaged with US law enforcement to identify and stop the source of this fraudulent activity,” a Verizon spokesperson told Engadget. “Verizon continues to work on behalf of our customers to prevent spam texts and related activity.”

When reports of the campaign first started to appear online, some Verizon customers speculated it was the result of an internal breach, a claim the carrier denies. “We believe this activity is being generated from external bad actors with no direct tie to our company,” the company told The Verge. Verizon also said it has no evidence that suggests the texts are coming from Russia. The texts come as US officials, including President Biden, have warned of potential Russian cyberattacks in response to the sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Like with most spam and phishing attempts, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to not open the link that accompanies the text.