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paul775

@hosting.net.pe

Strange text messages on brand new phone

I just got a TracFone for a back up phone and shortly after I got it activated I got a text message and I hadn't even told anyone I was activating it yet.

So far I've got two text messages from an unknown source. All the say is 41414. I haven't read them yet. Is it at all possible a virus or something could be spread this way? I thought I heard about something like this. Or are they most probably safe to read? Maybe some kind of spam?

Thanks in advance for replies.


lilhurricane
Crunchin' For Cures
Premium,Mod
join:2003-01-11
Purple Zone
kudos:57

1 recommendation

Prolly some kind of spam..from a previous customer w/ the same #

Just list the phone with the Do Not Call list and if you have filters thru your provider - set'm up


Sandman
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Strafford, MO
reply to paul775
They're probably from TracFone.


60127178
K.U. Sweet 16
Premium
join:2001-02-15
Wichita, KS
kudos:1
reply to paul775
The number comes back to Limbo. Try replying with "STOP ALL".

»www.limbo.com/sap/unsubscribe?rp=home


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
reply to paul775
From experience with my Mom's Tracfone, do NOT EVER read a txt message from someone you don't absolutely know. Spammers have figured out how to send txt messages that, when you "read" them, will deduct minutes that you've paid for and deposit them in the sender's account. My Mom unwittingly got ripped off of nearly $20 worth of minutes from this scam. And Tracfone says there is nothing they can do about it, they just offer to sell my Mom more minutes.

So again, if you don't recognize the number, do NOT read any txt messages, just delete them unread.
--
***************
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
- Stephen Hawking


Littlem129
Premium
join:2007-05-13
White Pine, TN
reply to paul775
The messages are from TracFone, they are conformation messages about your service. They are safe to open and it will not cost you any minutes when you open them. TracFone does not deduct minutes for messages they send you.

When I first got my TracFone I got two messages. The first one was telling me my phone number and the second one was confirming the minutes I had added.

You will get messages from TracFone every once in awhile. They are usually about reminding you it's time to add airtime or a special offer for bonus minutes when adding airtime.


gjrhine

join:2001-12-12
Pawleys Island, SC
But do they cost you .20 if you do not have a text message plan?


paul775

@stafflab.os3.nl
reply to paul775
I opened one of them and it said something about Charlie Sheen, so I just closed it and deleted them all. I don't think Tracfone would send something like this. It cost me 0.3 units to open one of them, it wasn't free. I get about 1 a day now from 41414. I'm assuming they were all from the same source because all of them said 41414.


scots
Are we there yet??
Premium
join:1999-12-06
Fuquay Varina, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

2 edits
reply to fuziwuzi
said by fuziwuzi:

From experience with my Mom's Tracfone, do NOT EVER read a txt message from someone you don't absolutely know. Spammers have figured out how to send txt messages that, when you "read" them, will deduct minutes that you've paid for and deposit them in the sender's account. My Mom unwittingly got ripped off of nearly $20 worth of minutes from this scam. And Tracfone says there is nothing they can do about it, they just offer to sell my Mom more minutes.

So again, if you don't recognize the number, do NOT read any txt messages, just delete them unread.
I've never heard of anything like this, and don't see any way it could be possible a spammer to transfer minutes from from someone else's account into theirs via text messages. There are ways for spammers to make money for certain "services" via text which you end up getting billed for, but there's no transfer of minutes.

And it doesn't matter whether you open the messages and read them, or just delete them without opening them. The message is either delivered or not delivered. The sender of the message and your cell phone company have no way of knowing if you opened/read the message or deleted it without opening it. You still get billed for the "service" (if it's one of those messages like I mentioned above) and/or for receiving a text message (pretty much all cell phone companies bill per message unless you're signed up for some type of message package) whether you open/read the message or just delete it unopened.

If it wasn't one of those "service" via text things and your mom wasn't on some type of messaging plan, it's highly possible that she just got charged for $20 of incoming text messages depending on what her cell phone company's per message charges are and how many messages she received. Or if it was one of those "service" via text things, then they could have just charged her $20 for whatever the "service" was. But I'd bet $20 that there was no transfer of minutes.


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA

1 edit
said by scots:

said by fuziwuzi:

From experience with my Mom's Tracfone, do NOT EVER read a txt message from someone you don't absolutely know. Spammers have figured out how to send txt messages that, when you "read" them, will deduct minutes that you've paid for and deposit them in the sender's account. My Mom unwittingly got ripped off of nearly $20 worth of minutes from this scam. And Tracfone says there is nothing they can do about it, they just offer to sell my Mom more minutes.

So again, if you don't recognize the number, do NOT read any txt messages, just delete them unread.
I've never heard of anything like this, and don't see any way it could be possible a spammer to transfer minutes from from someone else's account into theirs via text messages. There are ways for spammers to make money for certain "services" via text which you end up getting billed for, but there's no transfer of minutes.

And it doesn't matter whether you open the messages and read them, or just delete them without opening them. The message is either delivered or not delivered. The sender of the message and your cell phone company have no way of knowing if you opened/read the message or deleted it without opening it. You still get billed for the "service" (if it's one of those messages like I mentioned above) and/or for receiving a text message (pretty much all cell phone companies bill per message unless you're signed up for some type of message package) whether you open/read the message or just delete it unopened.

If it wasn't one of those "service" via text things and your mom wasn't on some type of messaging plan, it's highly possible that she just got charged for $20 of incoming text messages depending on what her cell phone company's per message charges are and how many messages she received. Or if it was one of those "service" via text things, then they could have just charged her $20 for whatever the "service" was. But I'd bet $20 that there was no transfer of minutes.
You'd lose your bet.

I spoke with Tracfone customer service. The txt messages that deduct your credits DO EXIST and they claim there is nothing they can do about it. You're free to call customer service and tell them they're wrong if you like, but I know what happened, I saw it, and I'm not some dumb hick that doesn't know how cellphones work, I retired from BellSouth for fraken sake.
--
***************
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
- Stephen Hawking


paul775

@die.net
reply to paul775
With Tracfone, as long as you don't read the text message you won't get charged. You can just delete them all, as I did and I only got charged for opening the one message. It's 0.3 units per message read or sent.


scots
Are we there yet??
Premium
join:1999-12-06
Fuquay Varina, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

4 edits
reply to fuziwuzi
said by fuziwuzi:

said by scots:

said by fuziwuzi:

From experience with my Mom's Tracfone, do NOT EVER read a txt message from someone you don't absolutely know. Spammers have figured out how to send txt messages that, when you "read" them, will deduct minutes that you've paid for and deposit them in the sender's account. My Mom unwittingly got ripped off of nearly $20 worth of minutes from this scam. And Tracfone says there is nothing they can do about it, they just offer to sell my Mom more minutes.

So again, if you don't recognize the number, do NOT read any txt messages, just delete them unread.
I've never heard of anything like this, and don't see any way it could be possible a spammer to transfer minutes from from someone else's account into theirs via text messages. There are ways for spammers to make money for certain "services" via text which you end up getting billed for, but there's no transfer of minutes.

And it doesn't matter whether you open the messages and read them, or just delete them without opening them. The message is either delivered or not delivered. The sender of the message and your cell phone company have no way of knowing if you opened/read the message or deleted it without opening it. You still get billed for the "service" (if it's one of those messages like I mentioned above) and/or for receiving a text message (pretty much all cell phone companies bill per message unless you're signed up for some type of message package) whether you open/read the message or just delete it unopened.

If it wasn't one of those "service" via text things and your mom wasn't on some type of messaging plan, it's highly possible that she just got charged for $20 of incoming text messages depending on what her cell phone company's per message charges are and how many messages she received. Or if it was one of those "service" via text things, then they could have just charged her $20 for whatever the "service" was. But I'd bet $20 that there was no transfer of minutes.
You'd lose your bet.

I spoke with Tracfone customer service. The txt messages that deduct your credits DO EXIST and they claim there is nothing they can do about it. You're free to call customer service and tell them they're wrong if you like, but I know what happened, I saw it, and I'm not some dumb hick that doesn't know how cellphones work, I retired from BellSouth for fraken sake.
Maybe I misunderstood what you were trying to say. Your original message reads (to me, anyway) as if there's a scam where cell phone minutes are transferred to the spammer via text message...like the spammer is receiving cell phone minutes that they can turn around and use to call people just by sending a message. Now you're saying that the text messages get deducted from one's credits. Those are two totally different things, and I never said nothing was being deducted from anyone's credits.

The reason credits are deducted from the account is that Tracfone charges for receiving text messages just like every other cell phone company does. There is NO WAY a spammer can send anyone a text message which initiates a transfer of calling minutes to the spammer's cell phone account. TRACFONE is the one receiving the money by charging for the text messages.

IF the texts are coming as part of one of those "service via text" things (those commercials you see on TV to get your horoscope texted to your phone, "free" ringtones, etc) there's usually some fee (like $9.95 a month or whatever) associated with those services. That fee is billed to one's cell phone account. The spammer charges this monthly fee whether the messages are read or not. Most of that fee goes to the spammer. A small portion of the fee goes to the cell phone company for handling the billing so the spammer doesn't have to send a separate bill. In addition to the monthly fee for these "services," the cell phone company bills their standard rate for text messages (100% of which goes to the cell phone company).

You don't get charged for the "service" just from receiving a text message. You have to get signed up for the "service" somehow. You may sign up for it and not realize you've done it, someone may sign you up mistakenly (by "fat fingering" it and putting in your phone number rather than theirs), someone may sign you up because they're ticked off at you or think they're playing a joke on you, if you have a new account the person who had your number before you may have signed up for the "service" and it never got canceled...or the spammer may just sign up random numbers and one of them happens to be yours.

In the case of Tracfone I guess credits is also the same as minutes for the customer, but it's just plain old cash to Tracfone and the spammer. In the case of post-paid cell phone service it's extra fees on one's monthly bill, not minutes or credits. If one of those "service" things is what's going on, you can usually stop them by replying to the text message with nothing but "STOP" or "QUIT" in your reply.

And whoever at Tracfone told you they couldn't do anything about it was feeding you a line of BS. Maybe they have a policy of no refunds on used credits so there's nothing they can do as far as returning credits to you, but there ARE things they can do to prevent future charges. They can disable text messages on the line, which would stop her from being charged for the individual messages. Also, I know AT&T and other cell phone companies can terminate the monthly billing for the "service via text" crap if you don't want to reply "STOP" to one of the messages...so if they can do it there's no reason why Tracfone can't do it also. Whoever you talked to at Tracfone was either lazy and didn't want to deal with it, or Tracfone didn't want to lose the money they were getting from it.


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA

1 edit
I saw the credits get deducted, usually 10 or 20 credits, simply from opening the txt message. She wasn't charged for receiving the txt, only when it is opened.


swintec
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Alfred, ME
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reply to paul775
said by fuziwuzi:

I saw the credits get deducted, usually 10 or 20 credits, simply from opening the txt message. She wasn't charged for receiving the txt, only when it is opened.
Maybe it was one of those messages where it says in the ads "99 cents per text message fee applies"....Maybe 10 or 20 credits is trac phones answer to the $1 charge since they can not bill for the actual dollar?
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Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA

1 recommendation

for what it's worth:

»answers.yahoo.com/question/index···1AApXZ6r
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Come let us reason together.


Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to paul775
If it's a new phone just have the number changed. That will save you a ton of headaches in the long run.


lilhurricane
Crunchin' For Cures
Premium,Mod
join:2003-01-11
Purple Zone
kudos:57

2 edits
reply to Combat Chuck

(topic move) Strange text messages on brand new phone

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