Couple of things have annoyed me recently about unsolicited calls & SMS to my mobile. But there are ways to get your own back....
The first was more serious. Two of my numbers have had examples of the "missed call" scam - someone rings you, but hangs up before you can answer. The caller-ID shows something like 0709xxxxxx. The 07 prefix tries to con you into believing it's a normal mobile number. But it's actually some other premium-rate thing & you get to pay some anonymous scammer a shedload of cash for the privilege. Luckily I smelled a rat before I returned the call, and Googled the number to discover (a) various people had had the same problem, (b) Ofcom had launched an investigation in to the company owning the number, and (c) the number was registered to company at the same address as its parent firm (with full contact details on the web). So I forwarded an additional complaint to the investigator at Ofcom, and also tried to contact the marketing director at the company concerned. Haven't heard back, but neither have a had any more such missed calls.
The second one concerns SMS spam. I hate it with a vengeance, and make 100% sure I never give my mobile number out to anyone I think might be disreputable. (One of the benefits of having a landline is the ability to enter it into any web forms you suspect may be harvested by SMS-happy marketing droids). I got two SMSs yesterday evening from some fly-by-night mobile content firm (nameless for now, I don't want to give it publicity) inviting me to download some dodgy Java app & pay £3 a week for some stupid "content", via an SMS shortcode. Oh, and it also graciously gave me the chance to "Opt out" by texting "OUT" to the same shortcode. What was ambiguous was whether this was opting out of the service itself, or just opting out of their spam database. It also didn't tell me if that itself would cost me money, or whether (like email spam) my confirming my existence would just perpetuate yet more spam as they sold on my number as "live".
Luckily, in this case, the no-hoper firm, when Googled, yielded a contact name at their London PR agency - whose other clients I speak to fairly regularly. A terse phone call & email has sent the PR guy (who I'm probably putting in a tricky position - sorry mate) trying to get an explanation from the marketing genius who thought that SMS spam was a great method to promote his service. Given he's obviously a budget holder (ie he must have employed & paid the PR agency), I've also informed him of the substantial fee I'll levy for deleting any more of his messages, and that sending any more to me automatically confirms acceptance of my terms. Dunno if that holds any legal water, but it should at least prove the point that unsolicited SMS spam is simply unacceptable. And it feels really good to give a spammer a proper two-fingered salute.
Thanks, Google, for helping me unveil & respond to the spam/scam lowlife.
Edit: Here's a thought - are there any SMS spam-filter software clients for smartphones?
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