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SMS: Scammers Messaging Service

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by
CAM
, 21st March 2011 at 06:20 PM (3416 Views)
Mobile devices are gradually becoming more popular targets for scammers and are crossing over into the realm of traditional Internet scams. Social engineering plays a big part in scamming mobile phones, with a popular tactic being to ring a number, hang up immediately and leave an entry in the missed calls list that will redirect a curious owner to a premium rate number and a hold jingle. They rely on the "Hmm who just rang me?" effect to trick consumers into dialling the number and don't even require authorisation to charge money, it is left to the phone's owner to spot the premium rate number...if they know how.

Another scam that has been hitting my phone a lot is the £3750 accident scam. Targets of the scam will be sent a text message like this:

Code:
Free Msg: Our records indicate you 
may be entitled to £3750 for the 
accident you had. To apply free
reply CLAIM to this message.
To opt out text STOP.
A quick search on google brought up this warning:
Beware: Mobile Text Scam - FREEMSG Claim 3750 for the Accident You Had

As you can see, many people have been hit by this scam from multiple numbers making it difficult to block. There are three possible types of people who will be the target of this scam:

- People who reply with CLAIM as they have just had an accident (purely coincidence, the scammer doesn't know if you have).
- People who reply STOP to stop the texts. They won't, if anything they risk getting more of them.
- People who reply with garbage or abuse since phones are a very personal space and some take a dislike to it being intruded upon.

All of them will likely be charged a premium rate and snared into receiving more messages at a cost whilst confirming the message was read instead of being trashed immediately. In many ways this bears similarity to traditional E-Mail spam, with a large number of texts being sent out to secure a small amount of business and an unsubscribe trap to go with it.

If you receive such a message then delete it immediately. Treat it like any other spam E-Mail and ignore it completely.

Updated 21st March 2011 at 06:23 PM by CAM

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