Spam Text Messages
April 5, 2006 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting spam text messages to my phone. What can I do?

Not too many, just one every other week or so. Still- I pay by the message, and I hate the idea of paying for junk I don't want. I use T-Mobile. What's a girl to do?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Revenge is an option if they are coming from a phone number rather than an email address. You can email sms messages to them (phone number @tmobile.net: e.g., 8005551212@tmobile.net). Cost to you: nothing. Cost to them: something. Then again, this is how they are probably hitting you without cost to themselves. In any case, you can track them down --- there must be some return address to these sms.
posted by about_time at 2:18 PM on April 5, 2006


Response by poster: Here's what the message says:

From: 501

Adrienne@samarllc.com/Sup/Congtrats, you Qualify for 81% off ALL TYPES Prescription Medication. Go to www.bravedial.net (The Largest Internet Pharmacy)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:22 PM on April 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


The From: 501 usually means they used the T-mobile mail SMS sender that about_time mentioned -- maybe you can have T-Mobile block the email gateway for your #?
posted by neustile at 2:27 PM on April 5, 2006


Best answer: T-Mobile, however, uses text messaging to communicate with its customers, and so it will not disable the service, according to local T-Mobile salesmen.

If customers are receiving unwanted text messages, they can request that T-Mobile block particular senders, Benkosky said.

But the company can't block a particular phone number sending unwanted texts, just as it cannot block a phone number from calling.

When customers receive unwanted text messages, they can call T-Mobile customer service and ask to be refunded or credited for the unwanted texts. At that point, the company will try to work out the problem.
link

Not that it helps that much.
posted by justgary at 2:30 PM on April 5, 2006


just as it cannot block a phone number from calling.

I have never understoof why this is. it's the fucking year 2006 and we can't block individual numbers? Why the hell not?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:49 PM on April 5, 2006


I can easily block individual numbers on my SunRocket VOIP service.
posted by kindall at 3:07 PM on April 5, 2006


Best answer: But the company can't block a particular phone number sending unwanted texts, just as it cannot block a phone number from calling.

Perhaps someday a supergenius will figure out a way to do this and they can market it as "call blocking."

Call and demand a credit every time it happens. Unfortunately, despite the fact that this violates CAN-SPAM, it's T-Mobile's decision to not deal with this because it's cheaper not to. Use up some representative time and make it more expensive for them.
posted by phearlez at 3:26 PM on April 5, 2006


I'm guessing that since you don't say what country you're in, you're in the USA. In case I'm wrong, in the UK most of the mobile operators have a shortcode number to which you can send any spam texts you receive, and which they will then deal with. Check T-Mobile's website.
posted by Hogshead at 3:43 PM on April 5, 2006


Response by poster: I am in the USA, Hogshead.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:52 PM on April 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Nothing that you can do, except call them and demand a credit.

"SPIM" (IM/etc spam) is one of the reasons that AT&T Wireless had free incoming text messages. When I worked there, we knew damn good & well that spammers were coming and the spammers didn't care about the rules, so to try and keep customers happy, text messages were free.

Then Cingular went and fucked it all up. T-Mobile has also upped their per-message fees, which sucks.
posted by drstein at 6:04 PM on April 5, 2006


If you send enough text messages yourself, pick up one of the package deals (if T-mobile has them; Cingular does.) I pay $4.99 for 200 messages/month - since I send & receive over 100/month, it sure beats ten cents per message (works out to 2 and a half cents per message). If you can get a small enough text package (and send enough yourself), it might be worth it since the spams won't actually charge you extra.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:31 PM on April 5, 2006


Response by poster: I send and receive 10-15 messages a month, so it's not worth it to get a plan.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:48 PM on April 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Paying for incoming messages? Gee, I always thought Americans were better consumers than that. Everywhere I've had SMS (Germany, UK, SA) I only pay for out going messages.

Sympathy over the spam. I get one occasionally, and they piss me off, even though it costs me no more than the trouble of reading and deleting. I no longer volunteer my cell number to anyone that doesn't really need it.
posted by Goofyy at 7:49 AM on April 7, 2006


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