Are these Spanish text messages I'm getting just a spammer or is it safe to respond that they've got the wrong number?
May 3, 2010 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Do these Spanish text messages I'm getting (which I have crudely translated for you) sound like a spammer fishing for valid numbers, or does it sound like a lovesick teen who has just gotten the wrong number? I want to tell them they've got the wrong number so they'll stop, but don't want to respond if it's a spammer. Language barrier and inexperience with text spam leave me unsure.

Are the below Spanish text messages I'm getting typical of a spammer fishing for confirmed numbers or does this sound like a teen with the wrong number? I'd like to text back to my confused amigo and say I'm not his fresita, but I've read that you shouldn't ever respond because spammers are just sending feelers out for confirmed numbers, and if you respond they'll know they can turbospam you with whatever they're advertising.

I've only ever gotten email-based text spam before, and only a few, and super obviously spammy. This stuff on the other hand is from a phone number in my area code, always the same number, and is more conversational, not selling anything.

T-mobile won't block the number because I'm on a pre-paid plan, and my phone doesn't have the option to block a number.

Here are the messages they've sent and my crude translations using Google Translate and some guessing. They use "kool" deliberate misspellings like a teen and do abbreviations like saying k instead of que and t instead of te and others I'm not sure of. So I can't always translate, but in general it sounds like a guy trying to chat up a girl he likes:

ya tengo tu numero frecita (I have your number, hard-to-get-stuck-up-good-girl) Given that this was the first one, you'd think he would have said "This is Jose from your geometry class" or something.

t molesta k t hable siento k t hice algo y no m acuerdo k? si molesto solo asmelo saber (I think loosely it means "let me know if I did something to annoy you that I don't remember doing")

I love you (wasn't in spanish. spam senses tingling.)

Hola komo estas anda kontesta apoko t kaigo mal (I think it basically says "how are you - somebody said you were a little bit sick")

Hola komo estas
(hi how are you)

These came all together in a bundle:
por k t bas (por que... [not sure])
senti lo k pasa (listen to what's happening[?] or maybe just a variant of "what's up")
Yo se k no soy nada para ti (I know I'm nothing to you)
Pero m da gusto bert aunke sea d lejos (but I am happy/like ____ even if from afar[?])

It sounds like an unrequited teen crush... or the equivalent of a Nigerian scam emailer. Everything sounds very generic and general, like in a spam designed to be widely applicable. As far as I can tell there are no names, unless "bert" in that last one is supposed to be a name.

Does this look like a common variety of sniffy text spam? I've never responded, so you'd think he'd get the point if he was real. But then again if he's chasing a girl, nothing would put him off.
posted by Askr to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No clue about whether this is spam or what, but maybe a little more clarity on the content of these messages: the 'b' verbs (bas, bert) are likely re-spellings of verbs starting with v (since they sound the same)

por k t bas (por que... [not sure]) - why do you leave/are you leaving

Pero m da gusto bert aunke sea d lejos - It makes me happy to see you, even from far away

Also, sentir can also mean "to regret" as well as "to feel".

Which together means that the whole set of messages at the end sounds like somebody just got dumped.
posted by heyforfour at 7:26 AM on May 3, 2010

This guy may be a bit stalker-y. I would not engage, because saying, 'this is no longer the phone number of your object of affection,' will possibly get a string of, 'I know this is your number frecita, stop messing with me, we can work it out!' messages.

And that may possibly be worse than spam.

Sounds like he's winding down, so just continue to ignore. And chuckle if you're inclined to.
posted by bilabial at 7:37 AM on May 3, 2010

Doesn't sound like spam to me, just a teenager with a crush and very bad spelling. It's prob best to ignore. (spanish is my first language)

By the way, by "bert" he means "verte" as in " see you".
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:06 AM on May 3, 2010

Agreeing with everyone else. Some kid getting dumped. Maybe she intentionally switched one of the digits in the number she gave him.

Hola komo estas anda kontesta apoko t kaigo mal (I think it basically says "how are you - somebody said you were a little bit sick")

About the "kaigo mal". There is an expression "caer mal" which roughly translates as "to be annoying" or just to be disliked. I suppose it may come from the general sense of making someone feel sick.

So he is saying "Hi, how are you, come on reply - or do you dislike me?"
posted by vacapinta at 9:01 AM on May 3, 2010

Thanks, team. I'll continue to ignore. Poor kid!
posted by Askr at 11:48 AM on May 3, 2010

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