Over the past few months, some smartphone users have been receiving eerie blank text messages with a timestamp dated back to 2003.
The phenomenon has spurred speculation across the internet as to what they might be, with many confused users drawing connections to time travel and even Stranger Things. It’s now thought that the SMS protocol is to blame, as it allows for two different ways to receive messages – one of which makes it possible to ‘fake absolutely everything,’ according to The Next Web.
While it’s still unclear what the purpose of these ‘time travel’ texts really is, experts are warning users to report and delete these messages if they receive them, as they are likely a prank or a scam.
Last week, Reddit user Nihlus89 posted that they’d received a text from 2003. ‘So this happened today,’ the Redditor wrote. ‘I got this text from this weird number. Has this happened to anyone else? Should I be worried?’
As it turns out, Nihlus89 isn’t alone in the experience – countless users have taken to social media to share photos of the bizarre text that appear to have been sent 14 years ago.
While some appear to be sent by a standard phone number, others were tied to a source with a long string of digits – and, some were sent simply by the number ‘19’. On Reddit, users suggested the bizarre ‘time travel’ text may boil down to a glitch with UK operator EE mobile. But, the strange texts have made their way to Vodafone as well.