I’ve always hated my smartphone, but today I hate it even more because I’ve just discovered that I’m the victim of an expensive scam.
This is what I think happened :
– I was browsing [on my desktop, not the phone] and came across some kind of competition – it may have been to win an iPad. As part of the process I had to enter contact details [yes, I know…I KNOW!] Those contact details must have included my mobile phone number.
– I can’t remember whether I actually filled in the whole form and sent it, or whether I got cold feet and tried to cancel. I’d like to think some semblance of commonsense returned at the last minute but….probably not. Money was very tight back then, otherwise I’d never have looked at a competition in the first place.
– Anyway, very soon after, I began receiving scads of spam on my email address. That was relatively easy to deal with as my email client has quite a good spam filter. So…problem solved. Or not.
– In hindsight I now realise that the weird spam texts I was getting on my smartphone began at about the same time as the spam on my email address. I deleted them and got on with things. But they kept coming back.
– Then, I started to get rather large mobile phone bills, but I figured it was just because I was late paying so they all rolled up into one.
Stupidity compounding stupidity, I continued paying those large bills despite money being tight. For months. Only on Friday did I think to query my mobile phone provider about my bills. That was when they told me that I’d been paying for a premium SMS service all this time. And yes, every one of those spam SMS texts was costing ME about 5 dollars. 😦
I had no idea that any of this was even possible. What was a premium SMS service? I didn’t know. How could something online affect my mobile phone? I didn’t know. How could spam cos me money? I didn’t know.
In fact I still don’t know how any of this is possible. But it happened, and I really should have known better.
Making this confession in public is my punishment for being so stupid for so long. I can only hope that my experience alerts others out there to the fact that this is even possible.
If you start getting spam SMS texts [mine were all about general knowledge questions] call your service provider straight away, and get the bloody subscription stopped! And, as always, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
A very unhappy,