New scam texts show up as coming from your own phone

The scam seems to be especially prevalent among Verizon users.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – You can never be too careful with any scam, especially ones that show up as text messages.

“The open rate is north of 90%, so it’s a great medium for scammers to infiltrate,” said Josh Planos of the Better Business Bureau, “especially if you can introduce that element of surprise: your own phone number is messaging you, your own phone number is calling you.”

That’s right, messages from your own number could actually be scams. The people who run these things are clearly pretty good at faking numbers. No matter which number they use, though, the goal is the same.

“The vast majority are looking for personal and payment information from users,” said Planos.

The way they do that is pretty simple: “Sometimes they’ll send you to a lookalike website where they’re looking to pry away personal information,” explained Planos. “In some cases, they’ll send you to a site where you’ll take a survey and then need to put in your credit card to access that prize or lottery.”

There is one very strange destination that some people have reported being taken to. Planos describes reports from people who say they’ve been dropped off on “a site that actually just shows a Russian state-sponsored TV broadcast.”

The usual refrain when it comes to scams is that you should take steps to protect yourself. This time, perhaps more than ever, you’ll be depending on your wits to keep out of trouble. After all, as Planos points out, “you can’t block your own number”.

While Verizon says they’ve been able to neutralize the scam texts, a good scam is tough to keep down. It may be best to keep it in mind whenever you get a message that doesn’t seem quite right.

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