My first text spam

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My first text spam

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 2:56 am

It's 1:30am and I happen to still be up, changing out my laundry. A text pops up from 12404639125, "Your entry last month has WON! Go to (website) and enter code xyz to claim your $1000 Best Buy gift card." Root website is http://www.bestbuy.com.gccp.biz

That seems suspicious, as I didn't remember entering any such contest, although I do shop at Best Buy every 2-3 months, and sometimes my cell provider runs little side contests, plus everyone and their dog these days offers you a chance to win some sort of large prize if you enter their customer service survey. But the URL is also a bit suspicious, as a third-party contractor would normally use their name as the base URL and then add /sponsorname/ at the end. The number traces to Silver Springs, Maryland, although it doesn't produce any hits on Google.

Didn't want to risk clicking from the phone, since that how it arrived, so I try a desktop machine. The initial site is simple and legit looking, but click through and lo, for Avast blocks the URL as a malicious website.

Do these things happen often to anyone else here? This was the first one I've seen, and I have no idea how they got my number. I'm assuming it was bulk spam as I have a landline to use for throwaway offers that might produce follow-up inquiries or solicitations, and avoid sharing my cell number for anything other than legitimate business.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 3:02 am

I usually ignore those, but the annoying thing is I am charged on incoming text so there is nothing much I can do about it. :evil:
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 3:53 am

Flying Fox wrote:I usually ignore those, but the annoying thing is I am charged on incoming text so there is nothing much I can do about it. :evil:

Who the hell charges for incoming texts?
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 4:35 am

Meadows wrote:Who the hell charges for incoming texts?

Uh, every major cellular carrier in the US? For me on T-Mobile, it's $0.20/message, regardless of whether it's incoming or outgoing.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sat May 05, 2012 8:06 am

Meadows wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:I usually ignore those, but the annoying thing is I am charged on incoming text so there is nothing much I can do about it. :evil:

Who the hell charges for incoming texts?


If you don't have a texting package I'm pretty sure everyone charges for texts.

I've started getting them too. Probably one or two a month for the past few months. Annoying.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 11:41 am

I've gotten those Best Buy ones as well.

I also get ones alerting me that hot girls in my area are waiting to talk to me through this link!
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 11:58 am

Zoomastigophora wrote:
Meadows wrote:Who the hell charges for incoming texts?

Uh, every major cellular carrier in the US? For me on T-Mobile, it's $0.20/message, regardless of whether it's incoming or outgoing.

US Cellular does not charge for incoming. Maybe you should move to a "non-major" carrier to get some better deals.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 12:07 pm

AFAIK texts are typically included unless you're on the bottom-tier plan.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 12:13 pm

danny e. wrote:US Cellular does not charge for incoming. Maybe you should move to a "non-major" carrier to get some better deals.

Tried to check them out; doesn't offer service where I live (Los Angeles).
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:01 pm

ludi wrote:It's 1:30am and I happen to still be up, changing out my laundry. A text pops up from 12404639125, "Your entry last month has WON! Go to (website) and enter code xyz to claim your $1000 Best Buy gift card." Root website is http://www.bestbuy.com.gccp.biz
Yeah, that's text spam. I got one very much like that a couple of days ago for a "free iPad 2" and I think I've seen a Best Buy one in the past. This has been going on for a couple of years now; I get one every two or three months. It's annoying, and I always fill out the FCC complaint form (which you can do if the message uses an Internet address that includes an Internet domain name -- ie from an email address or promoting a website -- but you can't if it's just phone-to-phone texting because then the CAN SPAM act doesn't apply). (BTW, on the complaint form the correct category is "Telemarketing, Prerecorded Messages, Caller ID Spoofing, and Do-Not-Call"). You will actually get a paper form back from the FCC via snail mail, probably saying they couldn't do anything (these guys tend to move on pretty quickly) but I figure there's an open file somewhere and when/if they catch them (as they do, occasionally) it'll be one more "count" on the charging papers.
danny e. wrote:US Cellular does not charge for incoming. Maybe you should move to a "non-major" carrier to get some better deals.
I'm on a pay-as-you-go plan with T-Mobile, and as Zoomastigophora indicates it's $.20 per text, either direction. (It used to be chearper, but when they announced they were merging with AT&T they "harmonized" their rates by jacking them up, which was just one early indication that merger was going to be bad for consumers; of course, now that the merger's off and their customers have been paying the higher rates, they show no sign of dropping them again). Then again, I've never paid more than $100 per year for my cell phone usage (I buy that much once a year and always have some left over) so I doubt I can find a better deal for my usage than ~$8.33/month.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:01 pm

Glad you brought this up because I got a text like that, too. Just that, mine was from Walmart. It said I won a $1000 worth of gift certificate and I can claim it by visiting a website and typing in the code, which I did. After that, I got a phone call from a Margaret Feldman, supposedly Walmart promotions manager, and she told me I had to wire $100 to cover for processing fees and shipping cost. That was the red flag right there! Not mainly because I knew legit rewards don't ask for processing fees from the winners, though I read about the scam already and realized the call I got was one too, but more because I hate it when something started out to be free then I get surprised with a fee. Scammers always make it obvious. Hmm... No wonder. These scammers use legit business names to fool people. Tsk tsk tsk.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:05 pm

just brew it! wrote:AFAIK texts are typically included unless you're on the bottom-tier plan.

I specifically picked the least amount of minutes (still 450! I am at max rollover every month) and unlimited data. I don't really need text, except for these and AT&T's own spams. I will also get text every 3-4 months from people I have not specifically told to Whatsapp/call me instead and they have unlimited text themselves, but those are ok with me.

If only I can have like ~100 talk minutes and everything else going towards data.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:12 pm

This was the sender's phone number 904-305-7627. I did not need to look further because I Googled the number and I found it reported right here http://www.callercenter.com/904-305-7627.html. Looks like the scammer's been making the rounds lately.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
just brew it! wrote:AFAIK texts are typically included unless you're on the bottom-tier plan.

I specifically picked the least amount of minutes (still 450! I am at max rollover every month) and unlimited data. I don't really need text, except for these and AT&T's own spams. I will also get text every 3-4 months from people I have not specifically told to Whatsapp/call me instead and they have unlimited text themselves, but those are ok with me.

If only I can have like ~100 talk minutes and everything else going towards data.

Texts have become essential to me, due to Sprint's crappy network in the far southwest 'burbs of Chicago. Texts will still go through even when voice calls are unintelligible.

Thinking about switching... but not optimistic about the outcome given what I've heard from others, and my oldest daughter's previous experience with US Cellular.

Mobile services (heck, broadband too!) around here seem to be a huge race to the bottom.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:28 pm

piercestanley wrote:Glad you brought this up because I got a text like that, too. Just that, mine was from Walmart. It said I won a $1000 worth of gift certificate and I can claim it by visiting a website and typing in the code, which I did.
Ah, but by doing that you have now created "express prior authorization" so they can continue to call and spam you and you have no appeal to the FCC. (Since it's almost certainly fraud the FTC and other state and local entities theoretically could get involved, but as a practical matter you're probably out of luck). Not that the FCC is likely to do anything either, but initiating contact with the bad guys is always a bad idea (since they sell these lists of "marks" to others and reuse them in their next scam).
Flying Fox wrote:I specifically picked the least amount of minutes (still 450! I am at max rollover every month) and unlimited data.
I know, right? Back in the 90s, around the time of the analog-digital transition, I had an AT&T Wireless account (that I'd already had for long enough that the plan I was on officially no longer existed). Since I had to get a digital phone I went in to their storefront trying to get a cheaper monthly rate but the "best" they could do for me was offer me more minutes at the same rate. Since I wasn't using anything close to the minutes I already had, that wasn't very tempting and I began the migration through various other carriers that finally lead me to prepaid at T-Mobile. I always wonder about these people who actually use thousands of talk minutes a month.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:35 pm

I'm on Verizon right now, and have been for over ten years. Currently they use 1x for voice/text and CDMA/LTE for data. Does anyone know if when they switch to all LTE, they would be able to classify texts as "data" on that network?

Another way around this might be to use some app like Google talk to do your "texting." Also, doesn't Google Voice provide the same kind of usability?
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 1:37 pm

UberGerbil wrote:I know, right? Back in the 90s, around the time of the analog-digital transition, I had an AT&T Wireless account (that I'd already had for long enough that the plan I was on officially no longer existed).

In a similar vein, my broadband plan (Speakeasy residential DSL with static IPs) hasn't officially existed for something like 5 years now. Still grandfathered in with MegaPath (current owner of the rotting carcass of what used to be a stellar independent ISP). They keep trying to entice me into signing a new long-term contract, but there's no frikkin' way. I wish there were other decent alternatives...

UberGerbil wrote:Since I had to get a digital phone I went in to their storefront trying to get a cheaper monthly rate but the "best" they could do for me was offer me more minutes at the same rate. Since I wasn't using anything close to the minutes I already had, that wasn't very tempting and I began the migration through various other carriers that finally lead me to prepaid at T-Mobile. I always wonder about these people who actually use thousands of talk minutes a month.

Yeah, I've been meaning to look into T-Mobile. Sprint is really pissing me off these days.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 2:03 pm

Flying Fox wrote:If only I can have like ~100 talk minutes and everything else going towards data.

Tmobile has a prepaid plan exactly like that - 100 talk minutes, unlimited text, and "unlimited" data (which is 5GB/mo before it gets throttled) for $30/mo, but I have not been able to find a postpaid plan similar. Plus you have to go with mostly bottom-of-the-barrel phones.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 2:14 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:If only I can have like ~100 talk minutes and everything else going towards data.

Tmobile has a prepaid plan exactly like that - 100 talk minutes, unlimited text, and "unlimited" data (which is 5GB/mo before it gets throttled) for $30/mo, but I have not been able to find a postpaid plan similar. Plus you have to go with mostly bottom-of-the-barrel phones.


You can buy any un-subsidized phone to work on that plan. I guess if you could find something decently priced on a sale, from a friend/family member, or ebay you could cancel out the first few months price of a postpaid plan. 5GB a month should be plenty for most people.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 2:56 pm

just brew it! wrote:In a similar vein, my broadband plan (Speakeasy residential DSL with static IPs) hasn't officially existed for something like 5 years now. Still grandfathered in with MegaPath (current owner of the rotting carcass of what used to be a stellar independent ISP). They keep trying to entice me into signing a new long-term contract, but there's no frikkin' way. I wish there were other decent alternatives...
Yeah, I was a Speakeasy DSL customer back when they were just a local Seattle ISP. Once the mergers started, I saw the writing on the wall and moved on.
Yeah, I've been meaning to look into T-Mobile. Sprint is really pissing me off these days.
By all accounts their data coverage isn't as good as Verizon, but I haven't really had any issues with them as a phone/texting service. I do worry a bit about their competitive position vs the other big players (I was against them merging with AT&T because of the reduction in competition, but I hope they a merger partner who isn't already another wireless carrier).
DancinJack wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:If only I can have like ~100 talk minutes and everything else going towards data.
Tmobile has a prepaid plan exactly like that - 100 talk minutes, unlimited text, and "unlimited" data (which is 5GB/mo before it gets throttled) for $30/mo, but I have not been able to find a postpaid plan similar. Plus you have to go with mostly bottom-of-the-barrel phones.
You can buy any un-subsidized phone to work on that plan. I guess if you could find something decently priced on a sale, from a friend/family member, or ebay you could cancel out the first few months price of a postpaid plan. 5GB a month should be plenty for most people.
I've been seriously considering doing exactly this with precisely this plan, if I see a good deal on a phone I think I'd actually want. I have the added complication that I travel to Canada quite frequently and TMobile hands off to Rogers up there; I haven't looked into what I could do in terms of getting a compatible SIM card there to avoid roaming.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Sun May 06, 2012 6:05 pm

UberGerbil wrote:I have the added complication that I travel to Canada quite frequently and TMobile hands off to Rogers up there; I haven't looked into what I could do in terms of getting a compatible SIM card there to avoid roaming.

And that is my problem, T-mob's default 3G bands are 1700/2100 which only the new comers (Wind, Mobilicity) are using. Using a T-mob only phone you will most likely be switched to GSM/EDGE, and that is assuming you have a quad band GSM phone (lucky for us there are a lot of phones with quad GSM bands that do not suck as much as a few years back). I chose AT&T because I know I can get my H mode with my current phone. Penta band 3G phones are still in the minority and now they are trying to push us on the even messier LTE (another set of frequency bands we have to learn about). :-? :x
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 11:40 am

DancinJack wrote:You can buy any un-subsidized phone to work on that plan. I guess if you could find something decently priced on a sale, from a friend/family member, or ebay you could cancel out the first few months price of a postpaid plan. 5GB a month should be plenty for most people.

Well now you've got ME thinking. :lol: I had assumed (perhaps mistakenly) that the only phones that would work were the ones they offered. I wonder if any old unsubsidized quad-band GSM phone will work or if I'd have to get something in T-Mo's past/present lineup?

Also Amazon has that Exhibit II 4G for $200. Snapdragon, 512MB RAM, Gingerbread...seems like a reasonable deal. About $25 more than a Galaxy Player 4.0 and as a bonus it does mobile phone type stuff. And Newegg has refurbished iPhone 3Gs's that people claim in the reviews to be using on T-mo. Dunno if that's pre-paid or post-paid, though, or if they have a pre-paid micro SIM.

And as I went on a Googling spree this morning, I found I could port my existing cell number to Google Voice for a one-time $20, and use GrooVe IP to make phone calls to the US and Canada (not that I know anyone there I want to call) and send/receive texts with my old number. $5 for the paid version of GrooVe IP allows me to do that over 3G, too. So who needs 100 voice minutes?

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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 11:54 am

derFunkenstein wrote:Well now you've got ME thinking. :lol: I had assumed (perhaps mistakenly) that the only phones that would work were the ones they offered. I wonder if any old unsubsidized quad-band GSM phone will work or if I'd have to get something in T-Mo's past/present lineup?


You can use any phone as long as it has T-Mo's 3G/"4G" bands(if you want data). Doesn't need to be or have been in their lineup.

derFunkenstein wrote:Also Amazon has that Exhibit II 4G for $200. Snapdragon, 512MB RAM, Gingerbread...seems like a reasonable deal. About $25 more than a Galaxy Player 4.0 and as a bonus it does mobile phone type stuff. And Newegg has refurbished iPhone 3Gs's that people claim in the reviews to be using on T-mo. Dunno if that's pre-paid or post-paid, though, or if they have a pre-paid micro SIM.


I've seen people use the iPhone on T-Mo. Just need to go in there and get a SIM and sign up for a plan. The phone itself doesn't preclude you from choosing pre or post paid. All you need is the right SIM. You can even port your number to pre-paid. You just have to go into the store and work it out with them.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 1:49 pm

Well, I'm not going to get an iPhone. :lol: All the same that's pretty cool.

So where would one go for an unsubsidized phone? I've been looking on Amazon Wireless and Newegg, but their selections are kind of weak. nOt sure where else to look that's reputable and has a good selection.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 2:14 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:Well, I'm not going to get an iPhone. :lol: All the same that's pretty cool.

So where would one go for an unsubsidized phone? I've been looking on Amazon Wireless and Newegg, but their selections are kind of weak. nOt sure where else to look that's reputable and has a good selection.



You obviously don't want to go here because you would have suggested it already, but eBay has phones. If I were you I'd look for something SLIGHTLY used. It'll take a good chunk of the price off the phone. You could also check Craigslist.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 2:39 pm

DancinJack wrote:You obviously don't want to go here because you would have suggested it already, but eBay has phones.
Well, he did specifically say "reputable" ;)
Flying Fox wrote:And that is my problem, T-mob's default 3G bands are 1700/2100 which only the new comers (Wind, Mobilicity) are using. Using a T-mob only phone you will most likely be switched to GSM/EDGE, and that is assuming you have a quad band GSM phone (lucky for us there are a lot of phones with quad GSM bands that do not suck as much as a few years back). I chose AT&T because I know I can get my H mode with my current phone. Penta band 3G phones are still in the minority and now they are trying to push us on the even messier LTE (another set of frequency bands we have to learn about). :-? :x
Yeah. Moblicity and Wind are out for me anyway because they don't have coverage in Victoria AFAIK. Two years ago when I was up there dealing with an emergency for a couple of months I wasn't able to find much of anything prepaid whatsoever (and then I was able to borrow a phone so I stopped looking). If you ever stumble on anything, shoot me a PM.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 2:42 pm

DancinJack wrote:You obviously don't want to go here because you would have suggested it already, but eBay has phones. If I were you I'd look for something SLIGHTLY used. It'll take a good chunk of the price off the phone. You could also check Craigslist.

Ya, used or refurb. My current phone came off of eBay, but it was new. It's also a java-powered feature phone, so different ballgame. I've been looking around eBay and prices are relatively sane. I just thought i was missing some big cell phone retailer or something. :lol:

Also, my wife just "won" an iPad. Same deal - go to a site, enter a code, and then they start asking for a bunch of personal information. That's when she closd the window.
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 2:49 pm

You'll be hard pressed to find a good pentaband GSM phone other than the Galaxy Nexus. Google is selling it for 400 unlocked I think. Plenty of decent quadband phones out there though. Just make sure you find something with the 2100Mhz band and check your home are for T-Mo coverage. :)
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 3:20 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:Well, I'm not going to get an iPhone. :lol: All the same that's pretty cool.

So where would one go for an unsubsidized phone? I've been looking on Amazon Wireless and Newegg, but their selections are kind of weak. nOt sure where else to look that's reputable and has a good selection.

I bought the Nokia N8 and Sony Ericsson C510 from newegg.com. I bought my current Xperia Arc from some online store suggested by Google Shopping with good rating (not advisable now as I ran into issues with getting warranty this time, they claimed only Sony Stores is authorized dealer in USA). You can try other stores like Negri Electronics or eXansys. I would get full price with no SIM lock every time.

You looking for feature or smartphone?
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Re: My first text spam

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 3:26 pm

Coverage is not an issue, as I work with two people using it and I have a neighbor using it, too. One of the co-workers is how I found out about the cheap prepaid plan. According to their coverage map, I live, work, or otherwise travel to places that are 3G and have supposedly awesome coverage. There's a small band of 4G in and around Peoria, but I'm rarely there anymore.

It's just a matter of finding a phone I like at a price I can live with. $400 is way more than I want to spend, and I certainly don't mind living with something older. The price is surprising - I expected it to be more. I see used Nexus Ones (which also have a 2100MHz band) in the $160 range. I could live with that. I just don't allow myself to splurge on tech anymore. But at the same time I really want a new phone. :lol:

Flying Fox wrote:You looking for feature or smartphone?


Specifically a sub-$200 Android phone with at least a single-core A8 and 512MB of RAM.

edit: thanks for the recommendations on stores. I take it that's supposed to be eXpansys (with the P)?
Last edited by derFunkenstein on Mon May 07, 2012 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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