Here is a new form of an old scam. Remember the days when companies would send books in the mail with a letter stating that if you do not wish to receive this subscription you had to return the book at your expense? If you did not, then you would automatically be enrolled in an expensive subscription to receive further spam. Apparently this has evolved into a texting scam. Daily horoscopes and facts “companies” are sending people text messages with the same idea. If you do not reply then you are enrolled in a service that is quite costly. Especially if you do not have a text plan.
For Verizon, these services fall under the data usage type of “Premium Messaging.” The descriptions for the three services I’ve seen are “PREM_SMS 87350 Horoscopes2day,” “PREM_SMS 40684 The Mind Quiz,” and “PREM_SMS 40684 MMTXTALRT.” The five digit number is the number that sent the text. These had an application price of $9.99 each plus the costs of the texts. Due to the high price, it is fairly easy to catch on the bill if you happen to miss the increase in received texts. Calling Verizon resulted in a fairly painless exchange where these charges were removed. Since the phone in question does not have a text plan, they agreed to a request to prevent all texts to this line. Typically, carriers refuse to turn off data and text options on phones, but they can.
New scam involves texting people opting them into a premium text service. Carriers recommend responding to these texts to opt out, but they can remove charges if they are willing.