Have you been conned into winning a random jackpot lottery in Nigeria through your “lucky mobile number”? What initially used to be in our e-mail spam boxes has also hit our SMS inbox. The GSM Association aka GSMA will recommend operators to join a program that lets mobile users to report spam messages.

Don't want that to happen now

Don't want that to happen now

GSMA and Cloudmark, which make messaging security software for operators got together to collect and analyze SMSes and aggregated reports of abuse. Operators like AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint and Vodafone had also participated.

Alan Ranger, vice president for Cloudmark's mobile marketing said that users can forward suspicious spam content to 7726, which spells out as spam in the numeric format.

Although the number of attacks hasn't been at an all-time high, they have been quite severe. One instance of such scams is where the user has been informed that a “particular someone” has a “crush” on them and these messages are sent in series, thereby catching the victims attention and later registering them on a “dating site” for US $60 a month paid through the user's operator. The SMS spam problem seems to be more intense in China and Korea with an average Chinese user reported to get about 30 spam SMSes a day while those in Korea get it in thousands.

Cloudmark will be selling and managing the spam report service. Once a user reports an SMS, the service blocks them from coming on to a mobile user’s cell phone.

“We're hoping to get as many of the networks in the world signed up to it,” Ranger said. “At the moment when they [users] see spam, they don't know what to do with it. In some countries they phone up the operator, which is the last thing an operator wants.”

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