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Strange missing person SMS (NOT Emergency Alert)


Extreme Android User
Jun 17, 2011
Owensboro, KY
Both yesterday and today I got SMS messages that appeared to be worded like an AMBER Alert but weren't designated as such (no siren sound, no emergency alert notification, just a standard text ringtone and thread). comes from what appears to be a phone number and has text like:

FML@POLICE: Missing Person, 5ft tall, blonde hair, wearing white shirt and blue jeans. Last seen in [county name here]. Contact local authorities if spotted

It came twice yesterday on my Galaxy SII, which I'm just guessing since it pre-dates the Wireless Emergency Alerts feature/app is being routed to SMS. Never seen it before, and today it came again saying 'Thank you for your efforts, the missing person has been located'

Never had it show up like a regular SMS before. I've had this phone since September of last year. I have CB (Cell Broadcast) as well as "Emergency Texts" both disabled in the Messages app settings. They still came in. If I see them again I'll get a screenshot. I figured they were scams and just deleted them. The only thing like it I could find online were a few Reddit threads about a similar system in Sydney. I live in the USA. They called it Geo Targeted SMS Messaging or something.
I was wondering whether this could even be genuine: since your phones have geographical numbers it would be possible to send texts to mobiles registered in an area, and it's not obvious how such a scam would benefit anyone unless the idea was just to clog up the police with spurious calls (which, given how many people there must be who fit the description "5ft, blonde, white shirt, blue jeans" with no gender specified, seems the most likely result). After all, it doesn't sound like it included an obfuscated URL to take you to a fake site to make your report (the usual phishing scam approach).

But "FML@POLICE"?? That looks very fake indeed. If it's genuine then your police need to educate themselves about current vernacular...

(If you don't know, "FML" means "my life really sucks", only expressed more pithily).
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That wasn't the actual address just my example of how it was formatted. I didn't save the screenshot of it.

There's a similar type of SMS alert but it seems specific to Australia, but the formatting was quite similar to mine. I don't think the USA does SMS-amber alerts like this unless something changed recently:



Unless the U.S. has started doing Geo-Targeted Alert System like AUS, then I'm unsure if it's a scam or the way my quite outdated phone is interpreting emergency alerts.
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