How To Stop SMS Spam

This only really relates to South Africa.

Each Text Message (sms) comes from either a Short Code or a Long code or an users mobile number.

  • User mobile numbers: currently 10digits long. Starting with (+27|0)(78).
  • Short codes are 5digits long and start with 3 or 4. No international code since they are only valid in the current country.
  • Long Codes are 10+digits with the international dialing code +27

First step when receiving unsolicited bulk messaging, is to try contact the party that it is being sent on behalf of. If you have an X account and are receiving messaging or you should simply be able to reply to the sms (either the short-code or long code) with stop | un-subscribe | remove, generally most systems should accept the stop.

Should this not work, visit Smscode but this only applies to sms’s that come from a short-code. There is a form on the site that allows you to see which wasp the short code is registered to. Once you have that information it is easiest to contact the wasp directly. They are governed by a strict code of conduct so should their actions not follow the CoC they stand a change of receiving a huge fine or having them selfs removed as a registered wasp.

The last resort is to lodge a complaint with waspa. This should generally only be used as a last resort should you be unable to contact the wasp or the 3rd party.

My Experience with waspa.
Last week was the final straw. I got another spam sms from X an under18’s event co-coordinator party planer type effort. I have no idea how I got on their list but their website didn’t provide a means to contact/un-subscribe. It originated from a Long code so I was unable to use Smscode to determine the wasp that the message was sent by. I logged a complaint on the waspa website on Friday 30th of April. I almost instantly cc’ed on the email to their support team containing all the relevant information. Later that day I got an email saying that one of waspa’s representatives was looking into this and I should receive an update with in 5 working days….

This afternoon(Friday 1st May, public holiday) I got a call from SmsPortal the wasp who actually sent the spam. He was extremely polite and assured me they had removed my number from X’s list and I should not receive any further contact from them.

Something else to note these methods are also valid for subscription services as well. Also note the un-subscribe sms needs to be on the cheapest possible short code since they can vary from R1.00 all the way up to R30.00. They take subscription services way more seriously then just standard bulk messaging.

Only time will tell but the quick response time and the guy really didn’t seem like first line support makes me feel as if this issue is now closed. I hope this will help any one else that relieves mobile spam. At least you know there is a relatively easy way of stopping it.

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Friday, May 1st, 2009 Mobile 1 Comment