Explore & discover

Helpful Links

att.net free message validation code - Definitive Response to Community Please


att.net free message validation code - Definitive Response to Community Please

I, like many here, have recently received the text from "att.net free message" saying I have a validation code with which I need to respond. I have NOT changed anything, should NOT be validating anything and am rather concerned about the idea that my account may have been compromised somehow. In previous posts about this issue, all I have seen are responses from support folks who say they will contact the poster via private message to discuss the issue. However, there has STILL not been an answer to the community as a whole as to what is going on. Has AT&T been hacked and accounts stolen? What is going on? Do we as account holders need to be concerned? 

Can we PLEASE get some sort of answer here? Or do I just need to go straight to the actual support team?

The number of the text sender is 277-361. I will not respond at all, do anything until I know the proper thing to do. I appreciate any help....and thank you in advance.

Message 1 of 46

Re: att.net free message validation code - Definitive Response to Community Please

This concerned over a data breach, while understanding, just isn't applicable unless they are using targeted information (like your name in the text). But even tailored, specific information about you, isn't necessarily from a data breach, and I'll explain that a little better below.


Text's are like emails. Spammers know that if they blanket as many people as possible with a corporate name, it's going to catch the attention of people who are customers of that corporation. Everyone else it doesn't apply to is just going to delete it. Of those who are customers, some will delete it, some will question it (like you), and some will not even think about it and just respond.


The ones that respond without thinking about it are spammers target audience. Much like the Nigerian prince scam in the early days of e-mail, it wasn't an issue of data breaches, it's strictly a numbers game. People  have become more educated over time about specific cons, so spammers have become more sophisticated in their tactics to manipulate people into taking the bait. But unless they're using specific information about you, you can just report it, and rest easy that they don't have your personal data.


But even if they do, it's not that hard to obtain from sources outside of the company you do business with. There is a big market in "data mining". That's where retailers and marketers sell information to brokers, and brokers sell the information to anyone willing to pay for it. It's technically legal, that's why corporations that engage in this are required to send you out a notice of your privacy rights every year, and tell you in the fine print when you sign up for a service. The most common way people unwittingly give up the information is when they fill out surveys.  Or use loylaty programs for a discount. So it's not that hard for someone willing to pay to get your address, phone number, list of things you buy or subscribe to, and use that information to tailor a scam.


It's not a "data breach". Data breaches when they get information but credit card numbers and social security numbers, that could do some serious damage. That, you should be worried about. That information, is something companies cannot sell or give away, and are obligated to inform the public about, even if it imposes a liability. 


So, long story short, if there had been a data breach, scammers won't be contacting you because they already have the information they want. So, for the benefit of others, please do report it, but rest easy. 

Message 46 of 46
Share this topic
Share this topic
Additional Support