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Text messaging spam

I got my first text message spam the other day. It was on my Nextel phone and promoted "nextbell.com", a seller of Nextel accessories with the motto "It's how business gets fun". Yeah.

The pain of text message spam is a couple of orders of magnitude worse than e-mail spam, between the intrusive nature of getting beeped in the middle of whatever else I am doing and the extra time it takes to dial in and authenticate to retrieve the message.

Unless the spammers have found a way to wardial Nextel subscribers, how did they know to target me? Did Nextel sell them my number? Regardless of whether Nextel is responsible or not, if this continues I will chuck my Nextel phone and subscribe to a different service so fast that Nextel's collective head will spin. (Not like I needed another reason to dislike Nextel.)

Meanwhile, Nextbell is a front for enyo.net. Both have earned some Googlebombing: Nextbell.com is an evil text message spammer from hell and Enyo.net is an evil text message spammer from hell, too.

toys 2003.10.14 link

Comments

I occasionally (once every few months) get text-message spam from Sprint telling me I should use text-messaging more often (I never use it).

Adam Rice [adamrice cxe crossroads punkto net] • 2003.10.14
There's a pretty good argument that sending unsolicited commercial SMS is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. I have a page on that law at http://epic.org/privacy/telemarketing/

Consider bringing a lawsuit against the sender. There are several guides to bringing suit under the law, including tcpalaw.com, junkfaxes.org, and http://www.panix.com/~eck/telemarket.html

Buck Mulligan • 2003.10.16
Buck, I'd love to sue the bastids, but even if I had an army of winged monkey attorneys at my beck and call, I've long since deleted the message. I didn't even write down the exact text.

So what do the anti-SMS spam advocates suggest doing to preserve the evidence? Take digital photos? Transcribe the message in front of a notary public? Toss your phone and buy something with an OS that lets you capture text messages and forward them as e-mail? Are there authorities with SMS "rape kits" on hand?

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2003.10.16
I've been getting spam from Sprint lately too, I try and call the number & leave messages about removing me from their list, as well as re-spamming the number the message came from. I figure if everyone does their part, it will overload the sender with junk.

pLaYa [chronic_ecstacy_69 cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2004.12.11
A year ago I switched to AT&T. They've text-spammed me maybe four times in that year, always on their own behalf -- I don't know why that seems less heinous than selling my info to a third party. Their spam includes the URL to go to in order to opt out, which I guess is a courtesy but since I'm never at a computer when I get the spam it's next to useless.

Meanwhile, I just got a new landline from SBC and was getting calls from direct marketers on the first day. I immediately registered with the national Do Not Call list, but of course that takes weeks to propagate, and evidently SBC gets new numbers out to the phone spammers within minutes of activation. Grrr.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2004.12.12
I called Nextel to Have My Text Messages Disabled. They told me they would not disable text messaging and they would not take off the 8.10 charge for the month. I have never used this service nor asked anyone to text me, I don't even read the things. They would take it off only if I would give up my Voice Mail. I think this is a scam from Nextel to Rack Up The Bills. I Can't wait until my contract is up.

Addison Ford [homesurvive cxe aol punkto com] • 2005.07.19
If anyone has contacted their wireless carrier in order to block/remove text messaging capabilities and your request has either been refused or it was a hassle please contact me via email.

Moreover, if you have received solicitations from your carrier encouraging you to use text messaging please feel free to contact me as well.

Thomas O\\\'Reardon [oreardon-06 cxe sandiego punkto edu] • 2005.08.26
I just called Nextel to have my text messaging disabled. Someone got my number off a list in a gym I joined and thought it would be cute to text / bother me. I was told the manager would call me. Still waiting

anonomous • 2005.10.19
I have all of you beat...I've been getting text spam for 6 months, sometimes 5 or 6 times a week inviting me to visit a porn website. I can't find out who owns the site so I can get them into some kind of trouble. I have however, had several companies drop their account with them. I can reach the company who handles the money portion of the web site but I can't figure out who to turn in for spamming. Any ideas?

Miller • 2005.11.23
let's be honest more than half of the spam texts I get are completely jibberish...not charaters but real word that don't even form sentences. I tried to send back "remove number from list" and have gotten twice as many. Enough is enough!

Adams • 2006.10.04
The one thing to always remember about spam is this...

If you reply, if you click the "opt out", if you "unsubscribe" for some, if you so much as actually -open- the message, you just told the spammer that "Hey, look! You reached a person! I have a valid account!" Spammers collect these lists of valid accounts and sell them for a premium. It's a pretty lucrative business, actually.

Most of the gibberish e-mails that you get are just that... gibberish. They're designed to beat the blocking software so that the sender can confirm that your account actually exists (most spam destinations - aka, your mailbox - are randomly generated so they try chad@whatever.com, bill@whatever.com, sam@whatever.com, until a couple get through). By clicking those nice little "Unsubscribe" links, you just validated your account (which means more money for them).

IN addition, most spam isn't coming from where it says it's coming from and isn't even remotely connected to the product and/or site that it's attempting to advertise. That means that the porn site you're trying to track down probably has nothing to do with the spam.

Chris • 2007.01.24
The one thing to always remember about spam is this...

If you reply, if you click the "opt out", if you "unsubscribe" for some, if you so much as actually -open- the message, you just told the spammer that "Hey, look! You reached a person! I have a valid account!" Spammers collect these lists of valid accounts and sell them for a premium. It's a pretty lucrative business, actually.

Most of the gibberish e-mails that you get are just that... gibberish. They're designed to beat the blocking software so that the sender can confirm that your account actually exists (most spam destinations - aka, your mailbox - are randomly generated so they try chad@whatever.com, bill@whatever.com, sam@whatever.com, until a couple get through). By clicking those nice little "Unsubscribe" links, you just validated your account (which means more money for them).

IN addition, most spam isn't coming from where it says it's coming from and isn't even remotely connected to the product and/or site that it's attempting to advertise. That means that the porn site you're trying to track down probably has nothing to do with the spam.

Samantha Price [4168310870 cxe fido punkto ca] • 2007.03.11
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