Spam Messages To Cell Phones
My husband and I were getting a ton of spam text messages on our cell
phone starting in Aug ’10 until we cancelled our texts from our phone.
We don’t know how they got our cell phone numbers to send these text
spam messages as we don’t give our cell numbers out publicly. Also,
our cell phone numbers had been registered on the Do Not Call
I figured what was happening was that there was a legal loophole with
Do Not Call vs. text messages. I also thought it was probably a
computer generated text spam, hoping to get a hit on a return. When I
first called Verizon Wireless, they said I needed to reply STOP to all
their messages to get them to stop. I related to them I was afraid
this would let them know they got a live one. They said no and to
reply STOP. I did as they told me, and I started getting more
messages. I don’t think my husband replied back to any of his spam
messages. I called Verizon Wireless as I expected all charges from
spam texts to be dropped, as we were paying per message and not a text
plan as we rarely used text. I asked Verizon Wireless why I couldn’t
just receive texts from those on my contacts. They said I’d have to
pay an extra charge for that. They said I could add on a text message
plan for another additional charge, but it wouldn’t curb the spam
received. They also said for my and my husbands cells to cancel our
texts service so any spam call sent would be bounced back to the
texter as non-service and that they wouldn’t text again. Again, I
questioned if that was possible and if it was computer generated, how
does that mean our numbers wouldn’t be generated again? I told them
that we never had this spam before and I was upset that Verizon
Wireless expected me to pay for a text plan in order to deal with
them. The spam texters numbers were either a 5 digit number or 10
digit number, Verizon did block those individual numbers but new
numbers came up to spam text me and my husband.
I also written our state attorney general regarding this problem, who
referred me back to the Do Not Call registry. I have not heard back
from Do Not Call registry after I contacted them with this.
What can you tell me of cell phones receiving spam texts, when the
phones are registered as Do Not Call?
Signing up with the DNCR can only do so much towards marketers and various federal and state laws are spotty at best. Techincally speaking, it is illegal to “market” or “telemarket” to mobile number. But even if you file complaints with government entities, chances are the messages will just come from newly register sources.
In some cases, these messages happen because your kids texted “xxxx” to “0000” to get a ringtone, background or receive their horoscope. Since you have the billed cell number the messages that a company can send (since business has been done with this customer in the past) i.e. updates or more opportunities for products/services, get sent to you. If this is the case you might have to track down the charge on your bill, get the number, call the company and ask to terminate relations.
Regardless if the above is the case, I recently came across an article in the NY Times that looked like it could help with this. It says that some service providers offer to block ONLY text messages from the Internet, which are the bulk of computer generated spam messages. The article can be found here.