Suspiciously, shortly after I completed one of those goofy Facebook quiz thingamajobs, I started getting goofy text messages from 842-87. When I dailed the 800 number associated with that id, i get a call center alleging help with this feature but i hung up because it started asking for cell phone info etc. and I figured it was some sort of scam. Anyone have this? How can I block these numbers?
What those goofy things are is Premium Text messaging which applies to your line the moment you take quizzes/tests or send a txt message to those 5 digit short codes. It's the same concept as voting for something on the TV (American Idol) where in some cases you'll be billed. In this case though, I can assure you that if you do not have this blocked you will be billed a minimum of 9.99 per month until it is cancelled. This is a charge from the company that sponsored that quiz you took and is simply passed through as a Third party c harge on your VZW Bill.
The concept of Premium Text messaging is rarely wanted by any customer and to me personally is very borderline as far as legality but in all honesty it is still legal since in the process of entering your cell phone number you would have agreed to their Term and Conditions. If anything, it's very shad on their part in regards to those companies that do these things.
You can add a Premium SMS block through your My verizon account, or request it be added by Customer Service. Otherwise you'd have to text message 84287 with the keywords "stop" or "cancel". The block would only block these codes, any messages send and received from actual cell phone numbers would stay the same.
Useful information from VZ website (highlights are mine):
How do I opt-out of a Premium Text Messaging program?
Any Premium Text Messaging program, or short code program, that is approved for use on the Verizon Wireless' network requires that one (1) of the following five (5) words be used to stop participation in the program:
To opt-out of a Premium Text Messaging program, send a Text message to the program’s short code with one of the commands listed above in the body of the message.
If you are unable to opt-out using the keyword, make sure the auto signature feature on your device is turned off when sending the Text message. If auto signature is turned on, you will need to remove the signature from the message body and resend the Text message.