Texts From Your Contacts May Actually be Not From Them!

Today, Praboda, a friend and a colleague of mine at showed me a text message in his mobile. Everything was normal except it’s sender, who was me!

The message was sent from my mobile number, but the strange thing was that my phone was in my pocket whole time and I don’t think he or someone else was able to find out my phone’s unlock code. I was genuinely worried not knowing what was going on – has someone cloned my SIM or something?

But then he revealed his secret. He had discovered a website which allows you to send text messages for free – well, at least for now – setting any number as the sender’s number. All you have to do is select among the countries the one you want the message to appear sent from, type in the receiver’s – or rather “victim’s” – mobile number, write the message you need sent, and hit “Send”.

The website Praboda found was “—removed—“, but there may be numerous other out there. It is okay to have a little fun tricking your friends, but keep in mind that fooling people is not a good thing! Also keep in mind that texts you believe are sent from certain mobile number, may actually not be from it.

Here is a test message I sent to myself, setting “+94123456789” as the sender’s address:

A message sent with someone else' number as sent number.
A message sent with someone else’ number as sent number.

So, if you get some “out of normal” or “out of context” message from a friend of yours, or you receive something suspicious from an unknown number, be sure to call your friend and verify before getting angry, upset or rejoicing. If it’s from an unknown number, it’s better to ignore it.

14 comments

  1. Oh man – just another worrisome innovation that both infringes upon privacy – to providing a viable opportunity for spammers to deliver malicious messages. Scary stuff!

  2. This is bad news… but I guess deep down inside, I always knew this kind of thing could happen. It’s like when people spoof email accounts, and you get an email selling “adult products” from a good friend, and you KNOW something must be wrong. Yet the email address is the exact same as your friend’s. Hopefully good will rule over evil in the long run…

  3. Unless I see somebody doing something in person I assume they aren’t who they claim to be!

  4. I keep getting these type of adult messages on my emails which seem to be from my friends’ id, but i am sure they are not of that type to write such things….so the only go is to change the pass word or use some additional security methods….But there are always ways and methods and loop holes for guys who tamper with your email. Where there is a law there is always a loop hole or an escape route, or you can say for thieves there is always a key for any lock!!!!

  5. Man! just another opportunity for 419 scams, as if we dont get enough of those already, every week I get a “conradulations you have won” sms. Now I am going to get them from my friends as well!

  6. I just looked this up on Wikipedia and found a relevant article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caller_ID_spoofing

    The first paragraph explains this practice as follows:

    “Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to display a number on the recipient’s Caller ID display that is not that of the actual originating station. The term is commonly used to describe situations in which the motivation is considered malicious by the speaker or writer. Just as e-mail spoofing can make it appear that a message came from any e-mail address the sender chooses, Caller ID spoofing can make a call appear to have come from any phone number the caller wishes. Because of the high trust people tend to have in the Caller ID system, spoofing can call the system’s value into question.”

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