Phone Spammers

On Wednesday, at 9:18am CDT someone called me from the number 800-465-7962. Since lecture just began, the call was ignored. One was going to ignore the call, especially since no message was left, however one is waiting for a call from PayPal in regards to a claim (a whole other story). When attempting to call back one received the message “We’re sorry that number does not exist…”. This morning another 800 number called, this time at 9:11am CDT and from the number 800-954-9358. Since one was on the bus, in the “Rider requested quite zone” the call was not answered again. And again, the caller did not leave a message. In the past one has received SMS spam, but never spam phone calls (no they’re not telemarketers when they call a cellphone, they’re spammers).

Due to the nature of 800 numbers, a very shady nature at that, little short of (or threat of) legal action against a member of the SMS/800 (think of them sort of like the RIAA/MPAA) will yield actual details of the organization that called. They claim they are protecting the identity of their customers, sure but one is their customer as well and some how one does not feel that one’s identity is protected. Sure, signing up for the do not call list should end it, but for many it does not, and why should one have to opt out of unsolicited annoyances?

Since there is no directory listing for cell phone numbers it’s interesting as to how one’s number was ever obtained. One generally does not give it out, the only remotely “free for all” place would be Facebook. What does this mean? If placing the blame on Facebook, then it’s either Facebook (which one does not use very often) is selling the phone numbers, or they are allowing spammers to operate bots on their site to harvest information. Neither possibility would be a surprise, Facebook has been going downhill ever since they opened up to the general public.

If the calls were not to one’s cell phone the annoyance would be minimal (pressing ‘2’ when picking up the phone is now a routine procedure (humans ignore it, most autodialers will claim to remove the number from their list)). Since one’s Motorola Razr v3c is over three years old, it’s battery life is about six hours of standby time at best. Any call has a great effect on useful battery life. In the event of an emergency, the energy wasted by the spammer could result in insufficient battery power to make a phone call. In this case, the spammer could, if brought to justice, found liable for any damages incurred due to the inability to seek assistance (a glorious day indeed). Maybe H1N1 will get to them first.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

2 thoughts on “Phone Spammers

    • It’s kind of a long story, hence this comment is quite long.

      I purchased a copy of Photoshop CS4 off of ebay, the seller was supposedly from New Hampshire and that’s where is was supposed to be sent from. Instead, it was sent from China (I will never order software that is sent from China). I didn’t thoroughly inspect the box to tell if it was a pirated version before opening it. I installed CS4, the CD key worked for installation, but not for activation. After talking with a very friendly customer service rep at Adobe, we verified that the box was a pirated copy.

      So I’m in a “product not as described” dispute/claim. Paypal could not get a response from the seller so gave me the default, ship it back and give us the tracking number. Well that’d be fine and all if the package originated from the US. Instead, it will cost ~$60 to ship it, and even then USPS will not ship it as it probably will not clear customs. So, I called PayPal up, went through the situation with a service rep (again was quite friendly) and he said that they’d get back to me by phone or e-mail. And, so far they have not done this yet.

      -John Havlik

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