What to do with all those spam emails and texts?
As for text spam messages informing you that you’ve just “won” a $1000 gift card from Best Buy or some other store, stay AWAY from the website URL listed within the message. Why? Well, first of all, you have a greater chance of becoming shark snack food or a human lightning rod than actually collecting that gift card. What will most likely happen is this: 1) the website may be loaded with spyware (looked up “keylogger software“ yet?); 2) you’ll type in the “special” code…and ZING! — you’ve just verified that your cell phone number is a valid, working number. Guess what happens next? Yep, you’ve guessed correctly, grasshopper: more spam text messages will surely follow.
These text spammers are in the business of finding and verifying cell phone numbers so that they can sell them to any marketer who needs valid phone numbers. It’s a kind of mufti-level marketing scheme amongst spammers: they share and share alike…for a price. And don’t bother actually calling the spammer’s phone number; you’ll get either of these automated voicemail messages every time: “The number you’ve called has not set up a mailbox…” or “The number you’ve called has a mailbox which is now full.” And don’t bother texting them back, either (yep, you guessed correctly again: it’s just another way to verify a live number). How do these spammers get your phone number in the first place? Well, they use software that dials numbers in various sequences in the hope of finding combinations that end up being actual phone numbers. You complete the verification process when you either visit their website or call them back. Yeah, it’s a sucky, rotten system…but it works for them.
You’re probably thinking there’s nothing you can do to stop these evil shenanigans, right? But there are ways to fight back — it just requires some effort on each of our parts. You will find resources on this website which will point you to the right agency, whether it’s the FCC, FTC, or USPS. If we ALL take the time to report these scumbags to the proper agency, we can shut them down…eventually, one by one. It may take a long time, but we’re willing to keep at it, however long it takes to bring them all down. Plus, face it, it’s cathartic. Don’t let anyone tell you that reporting scammers and spammers is a waste of time. Chances are, THEY might be scammers and spammers themselves; it’s in their best interest to discourage you from ratting on them.
Let’s fight back!