Spamming yourself: new text message spam from your own number baffles Verizon customers

Same-number texting is a recycled tactic that robocallers have employed for years with voice calling

Verizon is grappling with a new breed of text spamming. 

The spam is confounding Verizon customers because the text message appears to be coming from your own number. 

A Verizon Community forum is bustling with dozens of posts from confused users wondering why this is happening. As is Twitter

A typical spam text says, "Free Msg: Your bill is paid for March." In some cases, it’s followed by an offer for a free gift, according to the Verizon Community forum. Or, in other cases, a link in the text directs people to what appears to be a Verizon customer survey that thanks you for paying your Verizon bill on time, as reported by CNET.

This is a variation on the theme of same number phone spamming, says Bill Versen, President, Communications Market at TNS


Verizon Wireless Retail Location, Indianapolis  (istock / iStock)

 "Same number texting is basically just a recycled tactic that robocallers have employed for years with voice calling," Versen told Fox News in an email. 


It is part of a broader shift to massive robotexting. 

"TNS’ latest Robocall Report finds that 48% of robotext scams were from a robocall spammer – which explains, in part, why we are tracking a 10x increase in this type of same number texting scam over the past few weeks," Versen said. 

Normally, you would report or block a text spam. For example, spam that you would want to block often comes in the form of caller ID spoofing, where a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity, as spelled out by the FCC


The seal of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seen before an FCC meeting to vote on net neutrality in Washington. The Senate has narrowly approved President Donald Trump’s lame-duck nominee, Nathan Simington, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, to (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File / AP Newsroom)

But this latest spam is frustrating for users because it appears that you have to block your own number. 

Verizon responds 

"As part of a recent fraud scheme, bad actors have been sending text messages to some Verizon customers which appear to come from the customers’ own number. Our company has significantly curtailed this current activity, but virtually all wireless providers have faced similar fraudulent activity in recent months," Verizon said in a statement sent to Fox News.

"We are actively working with others in our industry and with U.S. Law Enforcement as part of an investigation aimed at identifying and stopping these fraudsters and their illegal actions, and we will continue this work on behalf of our customers.  We have no indication of any Russian involvement," Verizon added. 


FILE PHOTO: The logo of Verizon is seen at a retail store in San Diego, California April 21, 2016. (REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo / Reuters Photos)


Typical ways to block spam text messages isn’t unlike blocking spam phone calls. For example, Google and Apple offer instructions on how to do this on Android phones and the iPhone.

"The uptick in spam texts RoboKiller has identified in the last two years is remarkable. Spam texts have outpaced spam call levels," Giulia Porter, VP at RoboKiller, which offers robocall and robotext blocking apps, told Fox News. 


"This Verizon spam text is a prime example of the new avenue spammers are taking to reach consumers as more calls go unanswered. TextKiller identified roughly 5,000 of the Verizon messages have been sent since late yesterday," Porter said.