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Showing posts with label SMS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SMS. Show all posts

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

SMS Spam: "URGENT! If you took out a Bank Loan prior to 2007.."

This SMS spam is probably from the same bunch of scumbags who brought you this long-running ambulance chasing spam.

URGENT! If you took out a Bank Loan prior to 2007 then you are almost certainly entitled to £2300 in compensation. To claim text 'YES'. Free to apply.
In this case the SMS came from +447591233963, but the spammers vary these all the time to avoid getting blocked.(Update 28/9 they are now using +447968780878 and +447968766208. Update 30/9 and now +44798044443)

Since they don't honour TPS opt-outs, then they are probably not to be trusted.. whoever they are.

If you get one of these, forward the message to 7226 ("SPAM") on T-Mobile, O2 or Orange.. If you are a Vodafone customer, forward it to 87726 ("VSPAM"), on Three the number is 37726 ("3SPAM") Your carrier should be able to block the spammer's number and with enough evidence may be able to take action against them.

If you see any other telephone numbers for this, please consider letting us known through a Comment.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

SMS Spam: £3750 for an accident you haven't had

There seems to be a huge number of these spam SMS messages doing the rounds recently:
Free Msg; Our records indicate you may be entitled to £3750 for the accident you had. To apply free reply CLAIM to this message. To opt out text STOP.
These message come through if you are registered on TPS or not. There is no identification as to who is sending them, and the number changes regularly (I have seen +447955957379, +447591260334, +447542067695, +44758137217, +447403811563, +447826688283, +447517528462). Sometimes the spam starts FREEMSG. Always the value seems to be £3750. It doesn't matter if you have had an accident or not.

If you are a Vodafone, O2 and Orange customer you can report the SMS spam to your provider: for Orange and O2 forward the message to 7726 (it spells SPAM) or on Vodafone is is 87726 (VSPAM). I have not been able to confirm, but T-Mobile and 3 may also accept forwarded messages to 7726 as well. The carriers should be able to block the spammers if they get enough reports, and take legal action where necessary.

Update: 3's spam reporting number is 37726 (3SPAM). Thanks for the tip, Richard!

Replying STOP is probably not a good idea - the spammers may well use it to confirm that the mobile number is active. And replying CLAIM is probably an even worse idea since they are a bunch of low-life spammers who probably cannot be trusted.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Is 97885 really Vodafone?

The UK's premium rate SMS (text messaging) business is worth over £1 billion per year. It's not surprising then that scammers are in on the act, looking for a slice of that revenue.

These premium rate numbers are use "SMS shortcodes" - but these shortcodes can also be used for non-premium rate (or free) numbers. So how can you tell which is which?

Take this one for example - a text message sent to Vodafone customers that says the following:

From 97885
From Vodafone: Service Enquiry. We are always looking to improve our service. Please help us by answering 2 questions. Reply Yes to start, all replies are free.

On the surface, it all looks pretty legitimate. But wait.. isn't this the kind of approach that scammers use? There have been several cases where spammers can work out your mobile phone network, and who can tell if 97885 is a premium rate number or not?

Well, one organisation that should know is the stupidly named PhonepayPlus body (formerly ICTIS) that is meant to keep track of these premium rate texts. They have a service called SMSus which can look up a premium rate SMS number by text (why they can't do this on the web is a mystery).

So, does sending the 97885 number for SMSus help? No.

From 76787
From SMSus: No info held about this number. Have a concern? Call 0800 500 212 open 8-6, Mon-Fri. Calls free from landline, mobile network charges apply.?
So, pretty useless. Eventually though, a response to an online support call to Vodafone indicates that 97885 is Vodafone, and it is free.

But surely the problem here is that the system is so fundamentally broken that no-one can tell a real messager from a scam? Perhaps it is time that whoever is actually responsible for regulating this mess comes up with an easy way to identify the true owners of SMS shortcodes and can say how much they may cost.