Unexpected message possibly from Republic

I’ve received several messages on the Messages app of the following type:
“You received a new message from [number]. To access this message please install and open the Republic Wireless app: rbp.lc/download”
If I click on the download, I get a dialog saying “Ready to activate your phone on Republic?” and “To activate this device, install and open the Republic App from the Play Store”.
This scares me because I have a Republic phone which is working fine and was activated a long time ago.
Is this a legitimate upgrade or some kind of malware?
What should I do?

Hi @geraldf.F,

It’s not malware. That is the message Republic generally sends when it thinks its required app is not on the phone. So, let’s start with an obvious question. Do you have the Republic app installed on the phone in question? Second question, may we know the brand, model and generation of the phone in question?

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Thanks for your quick reply.
The Republic app icon shows. When launched, it says that the phone is “supported by Republic” and asks for a Republic SIM to be inserted. Two options: “Don’t have a Republic SIM card?” or “BUY A REPUBLIC SIM CARD”.
The phone is a Moto G5 Plus, Purchased from Republic last September to replace a failing Moto X. I don’t see a “generation” listed, but the Build is OPSS28.85-17-2,945e, Android 8.1.0, SKU XT1687.
Diagnostics were extensive, but it seems like a Republic SIM is in place, but the device is not activated. That seems odd, of course because it has been working well.
If I eventually click to activate, do you think that will bring me down?

No, it seems despite the phone working to a degree it has lost contact with its SIM. Hopefully, “activating” will resolve that and the experience you describe.

Thank you so much for your prompt help. I’m activated now, my messages have been delivered, and all seems well.

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