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I Remember When Spam Came in a Can; Now It’s in my Cell Phone

It finally happened to me; I was hit with my first spam message via my cell phone.  I was foolish enough to believe that spam stopped with email, but luckily I was prepared for this eventuality and deleted the message without opening it.  This is my first word of advice for anyone who receives one of these dastardly messages.  Merely opening the message may result in charges being sent to your cell phone.

Text message spam has grown to amounts of 1.1 billion last year, according to recent reports.  The cell phone spam problem has been something that has engulfed countries such as China and South Korea for years now (sigh…they are always ahead of us in technology!).  According to the CAN-SPAM Act passed in 2003, this should be illegal, but I have my doubts as to how many of these spammers are going to be caught.  However, after some exhaustive research, I have come up with a five-point plan for combating requests for purchases of fake stocks and penis pumps.

  1. Cut down on the amount of places where your cell phone number is available. Don't display your wireless phone number in public. This includes newsgroups, chat rooms, Web sites, or membership directories.
  2. Check the privacy policy when submitting your cell phone number to any Web site.  Also, find out if the policy allows the company to sell your information.
  3. Take advantage of the free National Do Not Call Registry. Registering both your home and mobile phone is easy and free.  You can register up to three numbers at a time.  Personally, I registered both my parents' and mine.
  4. Never EVER open a suspicious text message.  Many services allow you to view the first line of a text message without opening it, so take the time to do so.  When in doubt, remember what happened to that curious cat…
  5. As a last resort, you can ask your cell phone company to completely disable your text messaging service.  Some companies, like T-Mobile, do not allow costumers to do this.  The reason given is that billing information is sent via text message.  Take this into consideration when choosing a new wireless service.

You can always call and complain to your carrier about the text spam problem that you are having, but for irony's sake, I'd send them a text message instead.