Quick note from the Editor: We are pleased to introduce to you a new member of our family: David Feng, who has come to join us at Shanghaiist to head up our tech column. David is the founder of the Beijing Macintosh User Group and a one-man super blogger on the China tech and startup scene. He was most recently the China editor for tech uberblog BlogNation, before its infamous implosion, that is (which we shall not belabour here, go google it if you’re interested). David continues his excellent blogging on everything related to the technology, mobile and startup arena in China on his new space, TechBlog86, and of course, right here on Shanghaiist. To get to know David more, click here.
Ever wonder why you’re getting spammed by those crazy “extra invoices” or “super-cheap flight ticket” spam text messages like there was no tomorrow? They’re making money off your phone number, that’s what.
That’s right. Get ready for a great gnashing of teeth as you meet the SMS con-artists. Most of these con ops number no more than three people tops, plus a computer and an SMS sending device.
In fact, those messages appear like they’re from a good-and-normal 11-digit mobile phone number inside mainland China. They’re not! If you’re ringing these folks back, you’ll find out that they’re numbers all over the country, and there’s no way you can get to them using the return-route number.
With your number in hand, all con artists need is a device that can will set them back no more than CNY 350 (US$47.92). That’ll be it — they’ll bombard you with 500 messages per hour.
Worse, they actually have the numbers of people based on how much phone calls they make a month. That’s targeted advertising — turned bad, that is. They’ll also sell you 10,000 numbers for CNY 50 (US$6.85).
We never knew our privacy was this cheap. Honestly!
Cross-posted on TechBlog86. Photo from Sky Shanghai.