October 18, 2023

Verizon scams: Avoid and prevent fake calls & texts

Verizon scams: Avoid and prevent fake calls & texts

Phishing scammers pose as well-known, trustworthy businesses to acquire sensitive information from unsuspecting victims. They may invade your privacy, your bank account, or even your identity. As a reputable phone carrier, Verizon Communications has become a common disguise for phone scammers, who stole an estimated $46 billion from consumers in the first half of 2023.

Even if you’re not a Verizon customer, you may still be a target for Verizon scams. Continue reading to learn how to protect yourself from fake calls and texts from scammers pretending to be Verizon.

Understanding the various forms of phishing

Phishing scams aim to steal valuable information that can be used to access victims’ personal and financial accounts as well as the money, assets, and additional information inside them. Scammers do this using several mediums, and it helps to understand the terminology associated with each.

  • Phishing: A type of fraud whereby scammers disguise themselves as familiar businesses and send messages (often emails) asking for personal information like usernames, passwords, or banking information
  • Smishing (or SMS phishing): Text scams done through SMS (short message service) or another type of digital messaging app, often using malicious links to solicit sensitive data and/or download malware onto the target’s device
  • Vishing (or voice phishing): Call scams that attempt to gain information through a fake offer, charge, or emergency, speaking to targets by live phone call or voicemail

Put simply, smishing and vishing are the text and phone-call forms of phishing, respectively. Since there’s no specific term for attacks done by email, they fall into the phishing category.

Four common scams targeting Verizon customers

Verizon scams can take many forms, and the same themes may come up across different modes of communication. We have identified four common scams that target current Verizon customers.

1. Account issue or suspended service

Fake account issues are among the most common setups for any kind of phishing scam. The scammer sends a message claiming there’s an issue with your account, prompting you to pay a fee or update your registration details to prevent your service from being suspended. Fortunately, you can easily confirm whether there is an account issue by logging into your account via the My Verizon app or Verizon website.

2. Prizes and sweepstakes

Verizon is known to sponsor events and sweepstakes, often in partnership with other brands. However, participants must sign up themselves in order to be eligible for prizes. If you’re told you’ve won a prize for a drawing you didn’t enter, you are likely being scammed.

If you have entered a Verizon sweepstakes and receive a message or call that claims you’ve won, follow these steps before giving away any information.

  1. Make sure you entered to win that particular sweepstakes (check your email for a receipt)
  2. Look up the sweepstakes online to verify the prize is one that’s actually being offered
  3. Check the terms and conditions or contest rules to find out how winners are to be notified
  4. Reach out to Verizon at a verifiable phone number or email address to confirm you’ve won

3. Tech support or security threats

Security threats are a common premise for scams because they grab the target’s attention. However, there is no real security threat until after the victim falls for the scam. In addition to calls, texts, and emails, these schemes may even show up in pop-up ads. Sometimes they ask for remote access to your device, which is always a red flag.

If you suspect a security threat or tech issue related to your Verizon account, reach out to Verizon directly through a channel you know is safe.

4. Equipment upgrades and promotion

Many phone carriers offer bundles, loyalty discounts, and other promotions that entice customers to switch services and/or upgrade their phones. Unfortunately, scammers offer even better deals, which turn out to be fake. Watch out for deals that sound too good to be true, and be sure to purchase your plans and upgrades through Verizon or another authorized retailer.

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Signs that you're dealing with a Verizon call or text scam

Even if you’re familiar with common Verizon scams, fraudsters can be convincing. However, the following are typical red flags that can assist you in identifying call and text scams before they do any damage.

Urgent or threatening language

Like any other legitimate business, Verizon doesn’t pressure customers to act immediately. Creating a sense of urgency is a common tactic used by phone scammers to encourage potential victims to give away their information before they realize they’re being tricked. Verizon employees will never use urgent, threatening, or unprofessional language.

Unsolicited requests for personal information

If you get an unexpected email or text that claims to be Verizon and asks for personal information, don’t respond. Verizon has stated they don’t ask for personal or account details via email or text message. Report the message as a scam before deleting it and blocking the sender.

Suspicious communication channels

Pay attention to the phone number, address, or domain that sent the suspicious text message, phone call, or email. Some scammers manipulate (or “spoof”) caller ID information to appear to be calling from Verizon, while others use email addresses that look similar to Verizon’s legitimate ones.

The following domains are trusted Verizon websites:

  • verizon.com
  • go.vzw.com
  • secure.verizon.com
  • vzw.com

Verizon Service and Support text messages come from the short code 899010, but be careful: Scammers can spoof all kinds of phone numbers, including short codes.

Don’t trust communications from other domains claiming to be Verizon, and don’t click links that direct you to potentially spoofed websites — especially if they come from unexpected text messages or emails.

What measures can you take to protect yourself?

From Verizon scams to delivery scams disguised as UPS or FedEx, to Citibank scams and more, phone fraud can often be neutralized with the proper preparation. In addition to staying up to date on popular phone scams and their red flags, there are actionable steps you can take to protect your information and keep yourself off the scammers’ radar.

Verify communication

Caller ID spoofing allows scammers to pose as well-known companies or even impersonate targets’ friends and family members. Make sure you know who you’re talking to before revealing information or even responding at all. Using a verifiable phone number or email address, reach out to the business or person the sender claims to be to determine if the interaction is legitimate.

Protect personal information

Don’t give out identifying information through text message or over the Internet. Avoid adding your phone number, email address, or location to your social media profiles. Think twice before filling out online surveys or signing up for mailing lists, and never give out your credit card information, Social Security number, or other private details online.

Use strong passwords

Choose complex passwords that include letters, numbers, and symbols, and change them on a regular basis to keep your accounts secure. Use a password manager to generate and keep track of strong passwords. A strong password will keep scammers out, and a new password can remove scammers who may have already gotten in.

Install call and text spam blockers

Call and text spam blockers are the most efficient way to avoid spam calls and scam texts without missing messages you actually want to receive. A comprehensive spam-blocking app prevents unwanted calls and texts from reaching your phone, virtually eliminating the threat of phone scams.

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Are you a scam victim? Here’s what you should do

Falling victim to a Verizon phone scam can have dire consequences, but a quick response may help minimize the damage. If you have (or suspect to have) become a victim of a text, call, or email scam, don’t wait to follow these steps.

Step 1. Stop all communication

If you responded to a suspicious message and you believe it may have been a scam, immediately stop all communications with the person who contacted you. Don’t answer phone calls, respond to emails, or even text “STOP” to supposedly opt-out.

Step 2. Document the scam details

Document the phone number or email address used to contact you, the date and time of all exchanges, and the nature of the scam. Keep track of the information you revealed to the scammer, scan your devices for malware and other viruses, and monitor your accounts for fraudulent activity.

Step 3. Report the scam to Verizon

Notify Verizon about scam attempts as soon as you can. This increases the likelihood of securing your account before the scammer gets away with more sensitive information.

Here are a few ways you can report spam and scams to Verizon:

  • Call Verizon’s account security and fraud claims number at 1 (888) 483-7200
  • File an identity theft claim online
  • Report suspicious emails that claim to be from Verizon by forwarding them to phishing@verizon.com
  • Report text scams directly through the Verizon Message+ app

Step 4. Report the scam to authorities

One of the ways to combat scammers is to report scams to the appropriate authorities, even if they didn’t manage to fool you.

There are several ways to report scams and entities you can report them to:

  • Forward spam texts to SPAM (7726)
  • Report fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • File a report with local law enforcement

Note that when you file a scam report, you may be asked for personally identifying information. Only give this information to official, verifiable agencies after you have initiated contact.

Robokiller: Your defense against Verizon scam calls & texts

In a time when phone scams steal billions of dollars from Americans each year, it’s crucial to have a strong defense against suspicious calls, texts, and emails. Robokiller offers comprehensive protection that has saved Americans over $400 million in potential losses to phone scams. Our robust and unique algorithm blocks 99% of spam calls and scam texts, so they never even ring your phone.

Shut down Verizon scams and take back your privacy by starting a free 7-day trial of Robokiller today.


Why am I a target for a Verizon call/text scam?

Anyone with a cell phone can be a target for a Verizon call or text scam. Scammers use these ploys to extract personal information they can use to steal money, assets, or even identities. Limit your visibility to scammers by refraining from posting personal details online or sharing sensitive information via text message.

Can I report one of these scams?

You can and should report Verizon scams right away. Report scams to Verizon by calling 1 (888) 483-7200, emailing phishing@verizon.com, or using the Verizon Message+ app. You can also forward Verizon scam texts to SPAM (7726) and file claims with the FTC and FCC.

Does Verizon really call to inform you about account suspensions?

Beware of automated calls claiming to be from Verizon and informing you your account has been suspended. Verizon will never notify you of an account suspension this way. You can suspend, reactivate, and check the standing of your Verizon account by logging in to the My Verizon app or website.

What’s the best way to protect myself against scammers?

There are many ways to reduce your risk of phone scams, but the best way to protect yourself is by installing a comprehensive spam blocker like Robokiller. A dedicated spam-blocking app stops call and text scams before they can reach your phone.

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