A Spate of SMS Spam From People’s Own Phone Numbers

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

This morning, I received a very blatant spam text offering me “a little gift” for supposedly paying my phone bill. Normally I’d groan, roll my eyes, and quickly delete such a thing, but there was something different about this particular message: it was spoofed as coming from my own phone number. As best my iPhone could tell, it was a legitimate message from me to myself. Tapping into the sender details took me to my own contact card. [...]

Turns out I wasn’t alone. Many customers on Verizon have reported getting similar spam from their respective numbers over the last few days — same for its MVNO Visible — and several Verge employees on other carriers have also encountered them. I posted an Instagram story about it and have gotten plenty of “same” responses. SMS phishing, or “smishing,” has been on the rise in recent years, but there’s something more disconcerting and invasive about it being linked to your own number. It’s all very “the call is coming from inside the house.”

I got the same exact spam over the weekend, but instead of coming from my personal phone number (which is indeed on Verizon), it came to my personal phone number from my Google Voice number. Spooky, to say the least.

My wife got the same spam over the weekend too, from her own number to her own number, and for a moment, it was really freaky, because she had previously only texted herself to send photos from one device to another. So the whole chain of messages above the spam message made it look like the spammer was somehow sending her photos from her own photo library.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022