Thankfully Apple has since acknowledged the issue and appears to be working on a fix for it which we’re hoping will be pushed out soon. In a statement issued to NBC, an Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update.”
That being said it seems that this issue extends beyond the iPhone and Messages. There are some who claim that the device has affected the iPad and Apple Watch as well, along with notifications received via WhatsApp, Twitter, or basically any apps that send messages to your notifications, although so far the bug has been usually demonstrated on Messages.
In the meantime for users who have received the text as a prank from friends, all you’d need to do is send a message to yourself, or get someone to send a message to you with the idea being that the last message strand should not be those series of characters. In the meantime we’ll keep an eye out for the update from Apple.