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Verizon subscribers are the target of a phishing expedition; do not respond to this text message

Verizon subscribers are the target of a phishing expedition; do not respond to this text message
Recently we told you about spam texts received by T-Mobile customers. It is possible that the phone numbers used to send out the bogus messages came from the recent data breach that affected 48 million T-Mobile subscribers. The text tried to make it appear as though it came from T-Mobile and offered the recipients of the message a $100 free gift because of an outage that occurred the previous day.

There were signs that the whole thing was bogus including the way T-Mobile was typed as Tmobile, something that we assume a real text from T-Mobile would never include. And hidden away in the fine print was the truth: the text was sent by a marketing company with no connection to T-Mobile and the company sent it trying to gather information about T-Mobile customers, possibly trying to gather up confirmed phone numbers of the carrier's customers.

Verizon subscribers should watch out for this bogus text message trying to steal personal information

Now, Verizon customers seem to be receiving unsolicited texts by another bad actor phishing for information in order to rip you off. The text message, from a bogus phone number (562-666-1159), says "Verizon Free Msg: Sept bill is paid. Thanks, (first name of the customer)! Here's a little gift for you." A link follows.

First of all, most Verizon subscribers have already paid their September bill so while it might seem that the text must be from Verizon since it knew that you paid last month's invoice, as a Verizon customer this writer can tell you that the nation's largest carrier doesn't offer you a gift just for making your payment on time; heck, Verizon won't send you a gift for paying your bill earlier than the due date. 

If you get this text or something that resembles it, do not click on the link. If you do, you might be directed to a site asking you to fill out personal information such as your name, address, social security number, phone number, and other information that can be used to change your Verizon password.

With this information, you could lose control of your Verizon account while the bad actor changes the address, password, and other information. Once that is accomplished, this criminal orders expensive new phones that you'll be paying for. The devices get sent to your account's new address which is controlled by the crook.

If you receive a questionable text or email, call the carrier to see if it is genuine

The person who received the text in the photo that accompanies this story knew it was a fake because the message used her first name even though the account they have is a company account. Be careful because whatever information you give away about your wireless account can come back to bite you in the wallet. And there are many different phishing stories to go around including one involving Verizon that we told you about a few years ago.

Whenever you get a text or email that looks like it could be genuine, you should look for a tell. If a simple word is spelled incorrectly, or the copy looks like it wasn't written by a professional, that should make you cautious. If the carrier's name is incorrectly written (Tmobile vs. the correct T-Mobile), that is a good clue. But even if there are no tells, you should be suspicious since much is at stake.

If you're unsure whether a text or email is genuine, call the carrier it supposedly came from and ask whether someone there sent you the message in question. Also, we would suggest that everyone with a wireless account set up a password or PIN to prevent your account from falling into the wrong hands. Earlier this month, the FCC announced that it was asking the wireless operators to crack down on SIM card hijacking and Port-out fraud, two practices designed to steal subscribers' identities.

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