LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Verizon customers are now being warned about scam messages from their own number. 

As a result, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to remind people about the dangers of texting scams, commonly called ‘smishing.’

Smishing is when scammers send text messages pretending to be from trusted sources. The objective of smishing, is to get people to respond with personal information like passwords, credit card information or to click on links that install malware.

“A common smishing tactic is to send a text warning about a fake problem with one of your accounts and ask for your information. Or some scammers will pitch offers too good to be true or even promise free gift cards or trips in order to convince the recipient to click or respond. If this happens, ignore it. It could put malware on your device and lead to identity theft.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Nessel wants to protect residents and is issuing the following reminders to protect your number and information: 

  • Don’t share your phone number unless you know the person or organization well.  
  • Don’t assume a text is legitimate because it comes from a familiar phone number or area code.  Spammers use caller ID Spoofing to make it appear the text is from a trusted or local source.   
  • Don’t provide personal or financial information in response to the unsolicited text or at a website linked to the message.  
  • Don’t click on links in suspicious text; they could install malware on your device or take you to a site that does the same.  
  • Don’t reply, even if the message says you can “text STOP” to avoid more messages.  That tells the scammer or spammer your number is active and can be sold to other bad actors.   
  • Never follow a text’s instructions to push a designated key to opt out of future messages.  

If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscriber, you can report spam or smishing texts to your carrier by copying the original text and forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM).