We have all gotten phone calls and text messages for some time now from a number that appears to be a legitimate number (e.g., a UT number or a specific business), but it really turns out to be someone you don’t know. This happens because threat actors spoof phone numbers so the call or text will be answered. This is known as vishing if using a phone, and smishing if done by SMS text messaging.
The past few days things have taken a more interesting turn, with various cell phone providers, particularly Verizon, getting numerous complaints from customers that they are receiving text messages from their own number. These text messages say that the user has paid their bill and they will receive a free gift if they click on the link provided. DO NOT CLICK!
It is being reported that clicking on these links will take you to a Russian state television site or possibly a similar Russian website. So far, the links have been “harmless” according to the news, but this may be a prelude of things to come. Always remember that you should never click on anything you didn’t expect or ask for!
Please refer to the Beyond Phishing post from 2020, for more information about the various types of phishing scams.