Sunday, December 09, 2007

Blooming flowers of hate

I had the following text message delivered to my phone:
(Hey it's Catalina)
Let one thousand flowers bloom
Below the Radar Equity is UTEC Inc (nanotech play), lookup UTEI thats their symbol
Dec 9, 3.24 am

Spam. I'm now getting SMS Text Spam. And what is worse is it is costing me 15 cents. So much other spam has more nebulous costs but a text message to my phone is itemized on my phone bill at 15 cents a pop.

So, what's to be done? Well, first is to contact Verizon and see if I can get them to take the charge off my bill because this message was unsolicited and I consider it a theft of service. Next, because I don't think Verizon will be sympathetic because they make money off of each message no matter who sends it, is to have SMS disabled for my phone. I never send or receive text messages from anyone so why should I open myself to someone else making me pay for a service I don't use?

I don't expect that to work. An online article I found indicates that Verizon "does not have the capability" to turn off texting.

Next is to send a bill to The Royal Bank of Canada, owners of Oh, it's possible that the address is spoofed but when spoofing, phishers usually have a link that will take you somewhere other than the address you see on the screen. In this case, the text message came from a financial institution offering, albeit in broken English, financial advice.

I doubt that this will work either. My expectation is that the Royal Bank of Canada will deny all knowledge of this behavior.

after that, well, I suppose I just have to suffer or abandon the technology of cell phones altogether.

Thanks, Catalina. Bitch.


Anonymous said...

We got 3 of the UTEC messages just like you and then one from a gmail account that said nothing. I called Verizon and they said to reply with Stop or End but that doesn't exactly work when the email address is invalid. I did it anyway.

In my opinion, Verizon Wireless has been hacked because we don't register our cell phone numbers anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Follow up:

Verizon Wireless didn't bother to mention that you can log into your account and turn off text messages from email and web. I only found this after some digging.


Keep unwanted messages from being sent to your handset from specific e-mail addresses, domain names and websites.

Message Blocking Preferences:
Block all messages sent from e-mail?
Block all messages sent from the web?
Allow messages sent to my only.

Mike said...

I'm getting these spams on my Yahoo! Messenger. They are going through some old aliases I used on Yahoo! Finance boards in the past and instant messaging them, regardless of whether I'm online or not (I'm always shown as off line too). I've received about 20 of them, and they seem to be more frequent relative to the time I report them as spam. It may be just coincidence, but I'm not sure.

This all started over the weekend and are continuing today.

Anonymous said...

Mine is a bit different. I received two messages back-to-back. Transcribed verbtim:
( 1 of 2) S:Hey it's Ashlee M:UTEI is to be brought to Attention SmallCap investrs, UTEC Inc (nanotech play)
Let one
8:42am 12/10/07
( 2 of 2) thousand flowers bloom

8:42am 12/10/07

It's funny because until I found this blog I had no idea what they meant. Clearly their marketing isn't working on me.

PS: "" is a British phonebook company.