Verizon users have been startled to receive a suspicious text from their own cell phone number.

“Free MSG: Your bill is paid for March. Thanks, here’s a little gift for you,” reads the message, followed by a link.

Driving the news: Many took to Twitter to post screenshots of the strange encounter. One user wrote, “Do not open this if it arrived in your texts today. Verizon what are you doing about this?”

Customers should delete that text or tweet at Verizon Support to address the issue further, the carrier said.

What they’re saying: The messages started appearing around March 27, with the company acknowledging the issue a few days after.

  • “Verizon is aware that bad actors are sending spam text messages to some customers which appear to come from the customers’ own number,” said the company, per Fox News, in an email.
  • “Our team is actively working to block these messages, and we have engaged with U.S. law enforcement to identify and stop the source of this fraudulent activity.”

Yes, but: One Verizon user, Chris Welch, editor at The Verge, reported that the link redirected him to Channel One Russia, a Russian state media network.

  • For now, Verizon has said it has “no indication that this fraudulent activity is originating in Russia.” FBI recently warned U.S. businesses and local governments to stay vigilant against potential cyberattacks, after hundreds of Ukrainian government websites and neighboring countries, like Latvia and Lithuania, were infected with data-wiping malware.

State of play: Currently, illegal robocalls cost Americans $10 billion a year in fraud and the number of these scams is rising.

  • In June 2021, the Federal Communications Commission implemented an initiative to reduce the number of robocalls by instructing phone providers to provide caller ID.