MOORESVILLE, Ind. — Morgan County parents are concerned their kids may fall victim to receiving pornographic photos in a possible scam. So far, we have only heard of this happening to numerous residents within Morgan County.
“It just popped. I just opened it up, and it’s right there,” said Tinsley Thompson, in shock of the pornographic image sent directly to her text inbox.
Thompson and her family have been receiving lewd texts for the past two years. Typically these messages come in the form of graphic written texts that are usually accompanied by links to click. She turned to her service provider AT&T for help but says the company has yet to put a stop to it.
“I’ve reported them, immediately deleted them, and I told my son to do the same thing, but this is a whole new story,” said Thompson.
This week she received a nude photo directly to her phone from a stranger. The belief is that the text is coming from an automated sender or a “bot”. Another 12-year-old in Morgan County received a similar photo.
“It could have got to my [13-year-old] son, and what if that picture gets passed around from teenager to teenager?” questioned Thompson. “What if this happens, and a teenage boy says, ‘Hey, this lady is interesting? Maybe I should start talking to her?’”
We spoke with cyber lawyer Andrew Rossow about these messages. He believes they are part of a “smishing” scam. The photos are an entry message to get the recipient to eventually click on a link. This allows the hacker to gain access to their information.
“If it is something where you are having to type something, don’t do it,” explained Rossow. “What you should be doing is immediately take a screenshot of it, contact your local law enforcement to make sure that a report is filed, contact a member of the FBI, and also your internet service provider.”
As mentioned above, we have only seen these messages appear for Morgan County residents. Rossow has a theory as to why.
“It’s very possible, looking at the software, that [a program] could be used to just generate every type of [phone number] combination in a particular zip code,” said Rossow.