RCS spam texts being sent to Google messages users — here’s what’s happening

Google Messages
(Image credit: Tada Images/Shutterstock)

Google Messages users have recently reported receiving what appear to be scam Rich Communication Service (RCS) messages. Messages that appear as a string of random letters and numbers. 

Sending RCS texts through Google Messages is, in theory, a more secure means to send messages when compared to SMS and MMS protocols. Google Messages offers end-to-end encryption by default, meaning no one can read a message other than the intended recipient, not even Google. However, a recent Reddit post  reveals that people have been receiving RCS messages that appear to be spam.

The original post on the thread was made two years ago, but recently there have a string of replies. According to the recent responses many users have received messages from outside their area code. However, all the messages appear to have the same legitimate link to Google’s support page, detailing how to troubleshoot being unable to decrypt encrypted messages.

Samsung and Google RCS messaging

(Image credit: Samsung)

Currently, there doesn’t appear to be much information on where this post is originating from, but Android Police speculates that it could be from a spambot that has gone rogue. They believe that the spambot could be looking to identify and farm active numbers via read recipes, and the messages coming through without being decrypted could be a malfunction.

Google has been working to improve its RCS communication service for its customers. One recent example of this saw Google roll out custom color options for beta testers. It's also been announced that iPhones will have access to RCS communication in the fall, which will make secure communication between iPhones and Androids even easier.

However, while Google's RCS messaging is considerably more secure and offers a lot to customers, this news shows that users need to remain vigilant — and make sure that they never click a link from an unknown source. 

If you are worried about your phone's security there are a few options, including downloading better security options. On that note, we have lists of the best VPNs and antivirus software to help you get started. 

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.