Its called SMS spam, SpaSMS, mobile spamming, and m-spamming.
I was in Amsterdam in Sept. 2010 and I kept getting spam texts:
Investor Stock Alert! Our pick is up 60% so far today, DO NOT MISS OUT! Get in Fast and Early. For
Hot Penny Stock Alert! AHuge PR Campaign has begun for Fleet Managment, starting
I don’t normally get these messages in the US. I am not sure if this has to do with the carrier I have here or what.
AIM: You have received a txt from an AIM user. To stop AIM TXTs, reply ‘out’ to this msg.
What really sucks about this sort of spam is that you have to open the text message up to stop it. Once you open up the message, you will see something like this at the bottom of the text
(Reply 'block' to stop this user). But the way the spam “user” gets around this is to send the same text message from multiple fake user names. The other thing that really sucks is that, depending on your text message service plan, you maybe charged for each message you receive! OUCH!
How do you block spam text messages?
The way the sms text spammers are finding your phones text address is by guessing. They know that the typical address follows this format:
[10-digit wireless number]@txt.att.net
[10-digit wireless number]@vtext.com
[10-digit wireless number]@tmomail.net
(comprehensive list 1,2)
So they just put all the numbers possible for a given area. This is easy with good software. Its abuse of the text message marketing using bulk text messaging software and/or services. They will typically forward from multiple fake usernames to the same text address. Its like war-texting or brute force marketing.
The good news is that your cell phone service should offer some sort of text-blocking services.
(from pogue nytimes blog)
* AT&T: Log in at mymessages.wireless.att.com. Under Preferences, you’ll see the text-blocking and alias options. Here’s also where you can block messages from specific e-mail addresses or Web sites.
* Verizon Wireless: Log in at vtext.com. Under Text Messaging, click Preferences. Click Text Blocking. You’re offered choices to block text messages from e-mail or from the Web. Here again, you can block specific addresses or Web sites. (Here’s where you set up your aliases, too.)
* Sprint: No auto-blocking is available at all, but you can block specific phone numbers and addresses. To get started, log in at http://www.sprint.com. On the top navigation bar, click My Online Tools. Under Communication Tools, click Text Messaging. On the Compose a Text Message page, under Text Messaging Options, click Settings & Preferences. In the text box, you can enter a phone number, email address or domain (such as Comcast.net) that you want to block.
* T-Mobile: T-Mobile doesn’t yet offer a “block text messages from the Internet” option. You can block all messages sent by e-mail, though, or permit only messages sent to your phone’s e-mail address or alias, or create filters that block text messages containing certain phrases. It’s all waiting when you log into http://www.t-mobile.com and click Communication Tools.