Sunday, April 22, 2012

Slate: cell phone spam problem is exploding


Will Oremus has a major article in Slate on smartphone text spam, dated April 13, here.  It appears on page G4, Business, of the Sunday Washington Post with the title “Spammed? Do Not test “STOP””. 

The problem is growing rapidly, possibly to the point of becoming costly for smartphone users, and mobile phone companies need to do a lot of upgrading of spam filters and in their ability to respond to spam complaints.

Spammers often generate their wares automatically, putting different SIM cards in their devices to generate the spam and then discarding them so they won’t be traced.

When someone replies to a cell text, that confirms the number, which can be “sold” to other spammers.

One way users might get mobile spam is to respond to fake "social surveys", often generated by misspellings of common domain names.  But this problem can become confused by legitimate surveys which some newspapers are now "requiring" as an alternative to paywalls.  

Related story here, April 8. 

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