[LINK] mobile phone spam

Stephen Edgar stephen at netweb.com.au
Mon Jun 16 10:16:22 AEST 2008

After being spammed on my mobile at $4.00 per message from January 2006 to June 2006 approximately 2-3 times each month between ~7:20pm & 7:40 pm each 26th or 27h of each month I had needless to say enough. (This was also confirmed in time by an anonymous Optus employee I spoke with that this scam was NOT being investigated by Optus but was known.)

I used the TIO twice over the 6 months as the go between Optus and myself as Optus at first did not want to play nicely and suggested originally that "I should stop watching late night TV" and subscribing to services that I now do not want to pay for. (They supposedly get LOTS of people trying to get money back for some of these 'adult services' taken off the bill so there partner doesn't see it on the owners mobile phone bill.)

Optus went through my phone records going back ~5 years and found that I had never subscribed to any 'Premium SMS Service' and both complaints were sorted in the end financially only with the TIO's help.

When originally trying to get the messages to stop Optus asked me to reply to the service sending an SMS with 'STOP' to un-subscribe so that there is a 'physical transaction' registered on my phone and the 'network' that I have elected to 'STOP' receiving the said messages and the provider has 'x' number of days (Should be instantaneous as they can subscribe you instantly, so why not un-subscribe instantly?) to acknowledge that 'STOP' message and must remove you from the subscription service. At the same time Optus ALSO sent an 'internal' STOP for the service on my behalf and as a second safeguard in case the 'STOP' message I send is not acknowledged. So both I the 'User' and 'The Carrier' can send 'STOP' messages and I believe this is the same case for Telstra, Virgin & Vodaphone from my 6 month journey. Now the fact that neither my STOP nor the carrier STOP messages stopped the spam is when I was given a 'direct number' to call the 'subscription service helpdesk' (each Premium SMS Service must have a 'contactable number' to resolve complaints). Once getting stuck into these guys 'one-on-one' I finally 6 months later was un-subscribed from the service.

As this issue did not simply go away after a week or two of hell dealing with Optus and the TIO and some 'dodgy' company with only a 'Shelf Name' listing at ASIC and a US based New York 'Virtual Office' servicing the company which was actually based in India.

All other aspects of the mobile spamming 6 month hell I went through was offset by ACCC and my complaints. The ACCC could not tell me about any 'ongoing investigations' but over the 6 months I supplied the ACCC with many details of the entities involved and my personal phone records et cetera to further investigate 'SMS Spam' and for my case on what I went through I was quite happy with the outcomes that the ACCC & ACMA offered and worked with me on. (I can't comment publicly on much of the discussions I had with both the ACCC 7 ACMA)

You can also report mobile SMS spam here:-


To look up the owner of an SMS Short Code Number:-

There is also roughly scattered in between the slightly off topic parts of the conversation in this forum thread that may be of help to anyone or ask me off list for any other details you may wish to know or enquire about.



Stephen Edgar
Netweb Interactive
stephen at netweb.com.au

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