Bogus texts not from Knox schools

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A text message falsely claiming to be from Knox County Schools was sent to cell phone users across Knox County on Tuesday.

The bogus text message linked to a political survey about “school choice” and other issues often championed by political conservatives and Republicans. 

Schools spokesperson Carly Harrington said Tuesday evening the school system isn’t conducting any surveys at this time.  Harrington said that she was in contact with the school system’s IT department to work on the issue when Hard Knox Wire called her. 

The school system later issued a Tweet saying: “Knox County Schools is not conducting a survey at this time. Please be aware that there is a survey circulating identifying it as one of ours. KCS is not affiliated with this survey.” 

The survey was texted from a regular phone number. Messages from KCS only come from an account identified by the six-digit code of 67587 in the space where a contact’s name or a caller’s phone number is displayed. 

The phony text provided a link to a survey hosted by Survey Monkey, which sought general demographic information such as age, race, gender, and political affiliation. It then asked questions about local school funding and policy issues that skewed answers in favor of “school choice.”

The last page of the survey states that it was conducted by “Political Opinion Research” and gave a phone number. 

When Hard Knox Wire called the number, the following pre-recorded message was heard: “Hello, you have reached political opinion research we are conducting polling to gauge the public opinion.  If you would like to be removed from our list, please press 7 now.” When no buttons were pressed, the recording concluded the call with, “We didn’t receive any input. Goodbye.” 

According to nomorobo.com, the phone number given at the end of the survey belongs to a “political research robocall.” 

Jennifer Stambaugh can be reached at news@hardknoxwire.com.

Published on August 25, 2021