It's back again:Mobile Spam Messages

It s back again Mobile Spam Messages

Spam messages in mobile!!! It is back again. Now, most of us get spam messages in mobile. But,we are not even aware of it. Isn’t it?

Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists and it is also difficult to hold senders accountable for sending such mails or messages. As a result of this SMS spam too has risen uncontrollably in India.

Just a few months ago cellphone users rejoiced because they could get rid of that pesky irritant: SMS spam. But, now they are back again. The new TRAI regulations, first restricting the number of SMS we send out, and then , imposing a tariff of 0.05paise per “promotional” SMS appeared to have taken the economic viability out of floating our inboxes with random, unwanted messages. The rules made by TRAI made a clear distinction between “transactional” messages and “promotional” messages , mandating that separate channels must be used for both.

Inspite of the rules , the telemarketers  have been able to take advantage of the thin line separating the two categories. They are using the free-of-cost tansactional pipe to send promotional messages. The main reason for such a scenario to arise is because of the access providers or aggregators who work as middlemen between telecom service provider,retailers are wittingly facilitating this violation. Now ,how do the mobile users know that if a promotional SMS that just arrived in their inbox is sent on an illegal “pipe” or not? Well, as per TRAI guidelines it is quite easy. Transactional messages can be distinguised from the promotional ones from the header. The promotional messages have a numeric mask, such as TM-12345, transactional messages have an alphanumeric mask,such as TM-ABCDE.Mobile phone spam is a form of spamming directed at the text messaging service of a mobile phone. It is described as mobile spamming, SMS spam, text spam. Though these are less pervasive than email spam.The mobile spam varies from region to region.

Spam SMS, of the promotional variety , is on the rise, as the transactional channel is misused to bypass the 0.05 paise surcharge. By this the spam SMS have made a come back but the worst thing is that telemarketers, access providers and merchants are working together to blatantly misuse transactional pipes to evade the 5 paise charge. This is the clear violation of the rules. If unchecked, this would easily scale up.

Now, how to stop this?? The first thing that comes to our mind is that by strict implementation of the TRAI rules or by some technical way. The CEO of  NetCore ,Girish Nair, says the solution to this , is a quick technological fix as the TRAI allows for a ”digital opt-in” provision using which cellphone users can opt out of spam with the DND (Do Not Disturb) , and then “opt-in” to messages from whichever retailers/service providers, they want to hear from. They can do this by a simple START<Brand Name> message. The loophole in the TRAI guidelines are being exploited by the marketers.

Well, Let’s see how much this technical way works out . Inspite of  stricter rules, these mobile spam messages are still back!!! 🙁


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