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” “You have 1 unread message from your secret crush! I ignored some, replied “STOP” to others, and even tried calling back in the vain hope of confronting my tormentors. I’ve long known not to click the links in spam emails, but 10 years of spam-free cellphone ownership had lulled me into complacency when it came to texts. Every buzz meant another text message charge on my bill. As I belatedly realized, a reply of any kind confirms to cellphone spammers that they’ve reached a working number—which they can then sell to other spammers.
If he’s right, perhaps mobile spam will be held down to the level of a minor annoyance for most.But don’t imagine that your tip is going to spur anyone to hunt down the scoundrel that spammed you and bring him to justice.The spammers aren’t just sitting on a couch somewhere typing messages one by one into a handset.Your surest defense is to avoid replying to any mobile spam and to hold off on typing in your cellphone number on websites you don’t fully trust.That won’t guarantee you immunity, since legitimate sites can be hacked for customers’ personal information, but it’s your best bet. They go like this: 1) Report spam to your carrier by forwarding the offending message to 7726 (that's SPAM on alphanumeric keypads), then copy the phone number it came from and send that along as well. 3) Tell your wireless carrier to block messages from the Internet.” Follow the link and it will admit that some “testing and participation” is required before you claim your prize.
It first asks you to confirm your email address, then requests your name, date of birth, phone number, and mailing address.
To really put a dent in text spam, the mobile phone companies need to upgrade their spam filters. A cynic might note that the wireless providers have little incentive to expend that effort, since it costs them essentially nothing to transmit the data, and they actually profit from spam messages received by people who don’t have unlimited texting plans.
Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T insisted to me that they’re doing all they can, and noted that the volume of mobile spam remains tiny compared to email spam.
The past three years, however, have brought a proliferation of cheap, prepaid cellphone plans with unlimited text messaging. In 2009, Americans received some 2.2 billion text messages that they identified as spam, by the estimate of Richi Jennings, an independent market analyst. But even that figure doesn’t capture the biggest boom, which has come in just the past few months, according to Cloudmark, a San Francisco-based firm that provides messaging security for major wireless carriers.
But that method was easily stymied, because wireless companies can separately track and filter such messages.
4) Have your carrier block messages from the specific phone numbers that are spamming you.