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AT&T customer text messages easily replicated by scammers

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HOUSTON – AT&T customers may want to carefully read any texts they receive from the company.

The problem is that AT&T sends out customer alerts via text message, and the messages are very easy to mimic. With a little effort, scammers can send alerts that look just like the real thing.

And if a customer clicks on a link, the hacker may be able to grab login credentials, or fool them into giving up their credit card information. AT&T alerts come from a four-digit "short code" number that anyone can buy. The computer programmer who spotted the flaw reported it to the company, but hasn't heard back.

AT&T declined to comment on the issue.