Will US Carriers Be Able To Prevent Mobile Spam?

from the it's-coming...-but-maybe-not-so-much dept

Lots of people have been predicting that the next big spam problem is going to be text messaging SMS spam to your mobile phone. While it’s already a problem in some countries, some are now suggesting that it won’t be that big of a problem in the US — though, some of the reasoning may be questioned. The first reason given is that US users don’t text message as much. The obvious response to that is that the word “yet” needs to be added to that sentence. The trend is pretty clear, and text messaging use in the US has been rising rapidly over the last year. Next, they claim that the US carriers have learned from overseas carriers and are better prepared. Perhaps that’s true, but spammers are pretty good about getting around any kind of “preparations.” The next reason is my favorite: “Text messages sent from one carrier to another may not go through, because the networks are not always technically compatible.” In other words, “because US carriers are so technically screwed up, many spam messages may just disappear — as may many legitimate messages.” Funny that this comes right after the experts claim the US carriers are better prepared to stop spam. If they still haven’t figured out interoperability, then how can they really be prepared for text spam? Still, the biggest reason why text spam may not be as big an issue in the US is that many carriers charge for each text message, adding quite the speedbump to any traditional spammer’s plans. Unfortunately, though, there are often ways around this, as many phone systems either offer web gateways for sending free text messages or have an email-to-SMS system that will let people send text messages over email. In such cases, the spammer just needs to figure out what email address goes to your phone, and (once again) there will be plenty of mobile spam annoying you everywhere you go.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Will US Carriers Be Able To Prevent Mobile Spam?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

SMS sucks

I have Sprint PCS and I use a website full of free ringtones, games, etc. to keep my phone full of time-wasters for when I have a few minutes to kill.

The website sends an SMS message to my phone containing an HTML link to the file I want to download, so I can quickly download just the file(s) I want.

The other day I tried to use this website and never got the text message. I tried again, still no message. I tried several more times – still no messages. That night, as I slept, with my phone on the charger next to my bed, suddenly all those text messages showed up, one after another, approximately 10-15 seconds apart, starting at 2:42 AM.

The time/date stamp in the message showed that it was sent much earlier, at the very time I had tried to send it, to be exact.

It was annoying (to say the least) but at least those were messages I was expecting. If I find that I’m rudely awakened at 3:00 am because some idiot just sent me a half-dozen copies of the same spam message about penis enlargement pills or stocks about to skyrocket, I’ll go balistic.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...