A way to STOP text message spam
If you are being text spammed by a short-code (a mobile number typically 5 digits long), just reply with “STOP”. This should work if it’s a service that cares to not piss off its recipients. This probably won’t work for an annoying relative. In my case, spam was coming from a service called Kadoink, and after I sent “STOP”, I got back a text that said I’d receive no more messages. I suspect this is some sort of industry accepted command: I found it in AT&T’s, What YOU can do to control cell phone spam.
For the past month, I’ve been receiving text message spam about events in San Francisco. The messages come from the short-code 87995 and are signed “via Kadoink”. I tried messaging the number back with “stop sending me this crap” and then “stop 87995”, but it didn’t stop.1
Then I looked into Kadoink and found they are a social service for text messaging (spamming?). Twice I sent email to
email@example.com to try to get them to stop spamming me, but they didn’t even bother to reply (let alone stop the spam).
Finally, I decided to go direct to my wireless provider, AT&T (unfortunately). In our half-hour conversation I was told repeatedly “AT&T does not have the capability to block a single mobile number.” Later in the brainstorming session it came up that for $5/month I could buy a service, “Smart Limits”, which would allow me to specify mobile numbers I’d like to block. “If smart limits lets me block a single number, then AT&T does have the capability, right?” The customer service guy agreed and soon things were escalated to the manager. It’s fairly unacceptable to have the options: get charged for the spam or get charged to stop the spam. Of course, the manager just came back with, sorry, it’s Policy.2
To make a long story short (too late), I gave up on AT&T in hope I could better strong-arm Kadoink to do the right thing, then found the PDF mentioned above, sent “STOP” and hopefully that’s the end. So, not much thanks to Kadoink for not responding to my email, and not much thanks to AT&T for not really caring to solve my problem, but thanks to whoever decided to implement the “STOP” feature,3 as it (at least says it) worked.
In fact, the first time I messaged, they resent me their spam. 🙁 ↩︎
One of my favorite reasons for avoiding big business and bureaucracy is often policy trumps reason and sense. ↩︎
You’d think Kadoink would have this on their command guide, but they don’t. ↩︎