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csouter

Spam by SMS?

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Hi, all!

Does anyone have any idea how and/or where to report SMS spams?

I received this on my mobile (cell) phone last Thursday 2007-03-22 at about 17:10 Australian Eastern Summer Time, which is GMT+1100.

-----

The heading was: FREE MSG

The content was: $50 phone card awarded 2u! Txt WANT to 193333 to accept. $500 cash won wkly! Info? Realm 1300730291 sub[at]$5 every 6 days. sae reqd. optout from mktg? stop to 193333

Sender: FREE MSG

Message centre: +447624499904

Sent: 22-Mar-2007 08:35:16

-----

Now, I'm in Australia (Country Code +61). I'm fairly sure +44 is the UK. The date is correct, but the time

makes no sense. As I said above, I got the message at about 17:10 (+1100).

Any suggestions appreciated. I've never seen an SMS spam before. I sincerely hope it's not the start of

a new trend.

Edited by csouter

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Does anyone have any idea how and/or where to report SMS spams?...Any suggestions appreciated. I've never seen an SMS spam before. I sincerely hope it's not the start of a new trend.
Hi Chris (we have to stop meeting this way). Theoretically ACMA is the controlling body - I can't see anything there offhand - try the good folk at AMTA-Code to protect consumers from SMS spam who seem to think it is covered - it will take a 'phone call (quel surprise) I would guess.

Could be worse - remember when consumers had to pay to receive unsolicited SMS?

Anyway, if you find anything you might like to update here for the benefit of other Aussies bedeviled by the demon tellingbone.

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we have to stop meeting this way

Yes, I know... people will be starting to talk... :lol:

Could be worse - remember when consumers had to pay to receive unsolicited SMS?

Yes, I do, and it's not so long ago, either. And, into the bargain, they were being sent by Telstra! :angry:

You may also remember that wonderful Australian communications company called OneTel. They had a very lucrative scam going with every new account activation: the user could neither make nor receive any voice calls until he/she had first done a full voicemail setup! The voicemail setup was all charged to the account (at around 40 or 50 cents per minute, charged in 30-second increments, IIRC), and it took at least 10 - 15 minutes to complete the setup (which included listening to lengthy instructions, legal disclaimers and miscellaneous announcements, and recording a voicemail greeting, a laborious and very time-consuming process for anyone not trained in radio announcing or something similar). You had to set up voicemail, even if you had no intention of ever using it, and you couldn't turn it off without having first set it up. The whole process used to add about $AUD10.00 to $AUD20.00 to the first month's account. It was also quite expensive to use the voicemail service: users were charged for sending and receiving the messages, again, at the same outrageous rates!

Anyway, if you find anything you might like to update here for the benefit of other Aussies bedeviled by the demon tellingbone.

Roger, will do. :D Thanks for the links.

Edited by csouter

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ACMA is the controlling body - I can't see anything there offhand

There is this article. The message I reproduced in my OP seems a bit like Point #1 in that article. Also, last month, my wife received a series of SMS messages which seemed a bit like the "Text Message Scam" described further down the page. Fortunately, it turned out to be a genuine case of a wrong number. (The text messages were charged at normal rates by our mobile carrier, so they weren't going to some expensive premium service).

The 'STOP' code mentioned here is also mentioned in the ACMA article linked above. One thing worries me, however: if sending the 'STOP' code is the same "opting out" of spam, could it have the same effect, i.e., spam increases? After all, clicking on an opt-out link in a spam merely confirms to a spammer that one's email address is valid. The Short Message Service usually (in my experience) neither confirms nor denies that the number to which a message has been sent was a valid one; neither is there any confirmation of receipt of the message. Maybe sending the 'STOP' code will result in more SMS spam, just as it does with email, and, from a variety of message service providers, again just as email spammers do now. Anyway, there's no "SpamCop for Mobiles" yet, so, AFAICS, there's no easy and foolproof way to report these things.

Looking at the message I posted, the message centre seems to be in the UK. I suppose this means that if I send a 'STOP' code, it will be an international SMS (note also that the number starts with '19').

I might have a poke around the communications newsgroups (especially any dealing with mobile comms) to see what I can find. I seem to remember reading an article in the Sydney Morning Herald a couple of years ago, which described how mobile phones in Europe were being hijacked by scammers in some way, with large bills being charged to unsuspecting users. It was too long ago, and I can't remember the details now. My mobile is (fortunately) not internet-capable. (I have also read that a small number of mobile phone viruses are already in circulation).

Anyway, thanks once again for the links. I'll continue my research and if I can find any further info, I'll post it here.

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<SNIP>

I'll continue my research and if I can find any further info, I'll post it here.

Sorry for the delay in returning. Here are a few links to what further info I was able to find on this topic:

On Whirlpool Forums, you can view this thread, and this thread.

The first of these links is a discussion of an SMS spam almost identical word-for-word to the one I received.

This is the "Terms and Conditions" page on the SMS spammer's website (as shown in the SMS in my OP).

There is quite a lot of material on the Australian Government's Scamwatch Website, but the most relevant here is the online complaint form.

Needless to say, I have filled in the form and lodged a complaint. I haven't yet sent the 'STOP' code, because I'm still not comfortable about confirming my mobile number to an SMS spammer. (Remember, it's not like email spam: there is not usually any confirmation of delivery - or delivery error message - for SMS messages). I don't want to expose my mobile phone to any further risk of SMS spam or scams.

I also posted this question on the Exetel User Forum. (Exetel is my ISP in Australia; the company is also my mobile phone services provider). You may find some interesting reading in the following threads:

Here is the link to the thread I started, an earlier, similar thread and another thread on a related topic.

Edited by csouter

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In the UK the Information Commissioner handles complaints about unsolicited SMS spam as well regular Email spam from identifiable UK sources.

I'm not sure whether they will accept complaints from Australia about SMS messages that originate in the UK but you can only ask.

http://tinyurl.com/yra8pt

Andrew

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<SNIP>

I'm not sure whether they will accept complaints from Australia about SMS messages that originate in the UK but you can only ask.

http://tinyurl.com/yra8pt

Thanks for the info. I'll let you know how it goes. I'll try emailing them in a day or two, during office hours in the UK.

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So old but is my problem today. I did find this: Forward the sms span to 7726 (spam). Supposedly this a "thing" like spamcop for email. Anyone know anything more about it?

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On 9/22/2020 at 4:50 PM, john6528 said:

Forward the sms span to 7726 (spam).

sounds like something tied to the US Federal Trade Commission.

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On 9/29/2020 at 5:02 PM, gnarlymarley said:

Forward the sms span to 7726 (spam).

Yep, I do that every time I get a spam text. I also block the number it came from.

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