SMS spam

More than half of the SMS messages that I receive on my China mobile phone number are spam. The messages vary from ‘normal’ ones such as business men trying to sell fake invoices, to more explicit ones such as a person offering the virginity of his sister to the highest bidder (seriously!). Very annoying, because unlike email I normally want to take a look right away when a message comes in. Somehow SMS seems a more urgent medium. There is nothing I can do about the spam, as far as I know (if anybody has a suggestion, please let me know).

But maybe the heavy punishments in China for SMS spammers may lead to less unwanted messages in the future. Earlier this week I read a story on Pacific Epoch that 4 mass SMS spammers were sent to prison for over 10 years each. However, according to the article they not only spammed, but also did not pay the SMS fees, causing a loss of about USD 40,000 to China Mobile. I am not sure what was more important in the sentencing, not paying the fees or the spamming itself. But I would not be surprised if it would be not paying the fees. Why? Because my spam messages really started to come in after I got a China Mobile VIP SIM card, meaning that the list of VIP members is somehow available to spammers. So spamming might actually be considered OK, as long as you pay your bills.

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  1. Dear Mr. van der Chijs,

    Just got to know your website, very interesting indeed. You may want to contact your mobile phone operator and check for opportunities to block certain telephone numbers. Good luck.

    Cheers Robert (The Netherlands).

  2. 🙂 Hi Robert, not bad idea..however change of numbers is very easy.

    @ Marc: so much for a vip card…..

    Here in HK i tooo often get phonecalls, often from cold callers on the number…I can deal with those, the majority doesn’t speak English, speeding up your talk normally switches them off. Worse are the pre recorded messages, they start within a short period after picking up yourphone.

    SMS is growing, however for me with English language settings not a major issue yet.