Have you received a message from the past? Confused cell phone users say they have.

Who Is It Targeting: Cell phone users

What Is It: Text messages that are date stamped back in 2003

What Are They After: This one gets filed in the “creepy” drawer. A number of users on Reddit and other social media platforms have all reported—and shared pictures of—text messages that are time and date stamped all the way back to 2003. The sender and the cause are still unknown, and there has even been speculation that this is nothing more than some kind of SMS messaging glitch.

So why is this a scam alert? As with any headline news making phenomenon, internet pranks and hoaxes can take on a life of their own. Scammers come out of the woodwork anytime there’s a new opportunity, so cellular providers and law enforcement are already warning the public to delete the message if it comes through rather than responding to it. Even if these particular messages are harmless, they are an ideal opportunity for a scammer to contact you.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Anytime you receive a strange, unknown message, do not respond.
  • Whether it’s phone calls, emails, or texts, you are under no obligation to reply.
  • Delete the message and ignore the phone call if you’re not confident you know who contacted you.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Daily Mail.