GET GEPHARDT

How short code text messages can be safer than texts from regular phone numbers

Jun 7, 2023, 10:23 PM | Updated: 11:09 pm

 When you get a text message from a company, it can be hard to know if it's legitimate. (KSL TV)...

 When you get a text message from a company, it can be hard to know if it's legitimate. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

On weekdays, from 9 a.m. till noon, KSL NewsRadio hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic weigh in on hot topics. Often, they are inviting listeners to weigh in, too. The most common to engage with Dave & Dujanovic is by texting them at 57500.

It’s hard not to notice, but their number is only five digits, not the ten digits of a regular phone number.

KSL NewsRadio is using what’s called an SMS short code. Short codes are five or six-digit numbers that can be used to send and receive texts.

And it is not just the length that separates short codes from those 10-digit numbers, explained telecommunications expert Chris Drake, chief technology officer of iconectiv.

“Fundamentally, they’re a trustworthy message,” Drake said. “You might not have wanted it (the text), but it’s a trustworthy message.”

Drake said SMS short codes are set up in several ways that prevent fraud, but one of the biggest is they are not in a typical scammer’s budget.

“It’s quite a bit more expensive for a sender like a bank or somebody or a brand,” he explained. “But it’s secure. It only works if a customer opts in. They should never receive an unsolicited text message from something they didn’t ask for.”

SMS short codes also cannot be easily spoofed – where a con man disguises his number so that it shows up on your caller ID looking like it really is the IRS, a utility, or some other organization calling.

Drake said the technology is not new, per se, but it is growing in popularity to combat the surge of scammers impersonating legitimate companies.

“Be on double guard for text messages from ten digits,” he warned. “It’s less likely there’s a problem if it’s a short code.”

You have to opt-in for short codes. For example, you can text News to 57500, and boom, you’re signed up for KSL NewsRadio news alerts. But also, by law, companies that use short codes must also have an option for users to opt out of receiving messages, many by simply texting STOP to the short code number.

KSL 5 TV Live

Get Gephardt

Dave Donegan showing Matt Gephardt the items that were broken in his move....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

How liable is a moving company if your stuff gets damaged?

Dave Donegan’s home was just about to go into renovation, so he hired a moving and storage company to hold onto his household goods while work was underway.

2 days ago

FILE - The Amazon app is seen on a smartphone, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa. (AP ...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps solve Amazon misdelivery mystery for Manti man

Most of us are ordering more and more things online, and it's sometimes frustrating with things like an Amazon misdelivery mystery.

11 days ago

Scrolling social media, Joyce Lake spotted an ad for a doll. However, not only did the doll not sho...

Matt Gephardt

Imposters are using trust in law enforcement to scam Utahns

Scrolling social media, Joyce Lake spotted an ad for a doll.

12 days ago

Matt Gephardt working with Bona Rose on the CarChex documents....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt: West Valley woman says her extended car warranty claim was denied unfairly

Many drivers buy an extended auto warranty to cover unexpected repair bills. But when a West Valley City woman turned to her warranty provider for major help on her car's transmission, they turned her down - repeatedly.

16 days ago

Matt Gephardt meeting with Denis Hawkins after a rental car company after they ignored his calls fo...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Spanish Fork man clear up insurance claim for rental car damage

Get Gephardt clears up an international rental car insurance standstill.

17 days ago

FILE - An airplane flies through the clouds in Salt Lake City. (Jeffrey D. Allred / Deseret News)...

Matt Gephardt

How recent airline incidents are changing habits and impacting airfare costs

After a year of headlines lamenting runway incursions and midair close calls, the wheels may be coming off for the airline industry. Literally.

18 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

How short code text messages can be safer than texts from regular phone numbers