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I got hit with what I understand is called a text or sms bomb this weekend. I have 2 phone numbers in my contact list for my brother. I sent him a text to both numbers. They were innocuos, harmless messages. Apparently, I had mis-typed one of the numbers in my contact list and someone else received one of the texts. My brother texted me back at the same time the person to whom I accidently texted replied. It seems that this person didn't like accidently receiving a text messsage from me. He or she wrote that I am not authorized to text them and this is my "final warning". I had two sets of messages that I thought were from my brother and I thought this warning was a joke from him. I texted back "what are you talking about?" Soon, I started receiving obscene text messages, over 6500 of them which continued over a 30 hour period. The messages came from 1-410-000-0xxx. The first 500 phone numbers (1-410-000-0001, 0002, to 0500), each sent 10 text messages that said "F*** You" 10 times ( at total of 5000 text messages and 50 thousand "F*** You"s). These messages listed an e-mail address from @googlemail.com. After 5000 texts, the messages then started coming from a different e-mail address, @gmail.com, but the same phone numbers. The phone numbers each sent 5 text messages, each saying, "YOU DUMB A** HOLE" 5 times. These came from the same 1-410-000-0xxx numbers and I received over 380 of them before I was able to stop them.
I spent numerous hours online and at the AT&T store trying to rectify this. AT&T turned off my texting function, so I could no longer send or receive messages from my friends and family, but the spam kept coming. AT&T sent a message to a company called SMS Matrix trying to get the texts to stop. Soon thereafter SMS Matrix sent me an e-mail to register my phone on their system and opt out. Soon after opting out the texts stopped. However, SMS Matrix claims that the texts didn't come from their system.
I have the number of the person to whom I accidently sent the original text message and have reported this to the local police. I was actually at the police station showing my phone to an officer while the texts were coming non-stop. I doubt the police will pursue this. But, I would like to take some legal action against this person. I could hire a lawyer, but I don't think I could get one to take this on a contingency (I tried) and it's too expensive. Any suggestions?
 

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I know it's tough to not be able to do anything but I always try to take comfort in the FACT that those type of people will reap what they sow.
 

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well, I don't know if you'll need a lawyer or court order to get the name attached to the number your mistexted. You might see what your carrier can tell you about that. If you can get a name and address you can file a small-claims suit. I can't recall what privacy guidelines exist for cell-phone numbers. I know it's not the same as landlines, which, even when unlisted, are still essentially public record. Since this involves harassment and monetary loss on your part, I don't see why the information wouldn't be released to you for legal proceedings.
 

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I can't offer any help but I have never heard of this sort of thing. I am really glad that incoming texts are free with my carrier. I think if that happened to me, I would call a couple friends that are tech savvy and they would "take care of it" for me. The original number that you texted is the only thing you have that is really attached to that person. The email addresses and other phone numbers are bogus. Unfortunately, I think the only thing you can do is try to figure out which carrier they use and report the "attack" to them.
 

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Call your carrier. Those numbers are what the carriers use when you e-mail a text message.

For example, if I were to send an e-mail to "[email protected]" it would go to the 555-555-1212 cell phone on AT&T's network, but would be received as one of those 1-410 numbers.

Your carrier can block it, and determine the origin e-mail account that's doing this. If you chose to take legal action or file a police report, then they would also have the information law enforcement would need.
 

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Thats a special kind of crazy right there. I could understand a couple of F 's or WTF's if you sent something volgur to your Bro as a joke and it was a wrong # but Wow. Makes me glad I don't text much and that my plan is unlimited texts(wife texts all the time).
 

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I got hit with what I understand is called a text or sms bomb this weekend. I have 2 phone numbers in my contact list for my brother. I sent him a text to both numbers. They were innocuos, harmless messages. Apparently, I had mis-typed one of the numbers in my contact list and someone else received one of the texts. My brother texted me back at the same time the person to whom I accidently texted replied. It seems that this person didn't like accidently receiving a text messsage from me. He or she wrote that I am not authorized to text them and this is my "final warning". I had two sets of messages that I thought were from my brother and I thought this warning was a joke from him. I texted back "what are you talking about?" Soon, I started receiving obscene text messages, over 6500 of them which continued over a 30 hour period. The messages came from 1-410-000-0xxx. The first 500 phone numbers (1-410-000-0001, 0002, to 0500), each sent 10 text messages that said "F*** You" 10 times ( at total of 5000 text messages and 50 thousand "F*** You"s). These messages listed an e-mail address from @googlemail.com. After 5000 texts, the messages then started coming from a different e-mail address, @gmail.com, but the same phone numbers. The phone numbers each sent 5 text messages, each saying, "YOU DUMB A** HOLE" 5 times. These came from the same 1-410-000-0xxx numbers and I received over 380 of them before I was able to stop them.
I spent numerous hours online and at the AT&T store trying to rectify this. AT&T turned off my texting function, so I could no longer send or receive messages from my friends and family, but the spam kept coming. AT&T sent a message to a company called SMS Matrix trying to get the texts to stop. Soon thereafter SMS Matrix sent me an e-mail to register my phone on their system and opt out. Soon after opting out the texts stopped. However, SMS Matrix claims that the texts didn't come from their system.
I have the number of the person to whom I accidently sent the original text message and have reported this to the local police. I was actually at the police station showing my phone to an officer while the texts were coming non-stop. I doubt the police will pursue this. But, I would like to take some legal action against this person. I could hire a lawyer, but I don't think I could get one to take this on a contingency (I tried) and it's too expensive. Any suggestions?
My un-Christian response would be to respond in kind. Most carriers (I'd say all, but I'm sure there must be some that don't), offer the ability to send text messages to their subscribers from their web site. Verizon offers that here:

https://text.vzw.com/customer_site/jsp/messaging_lo.jsp

I'm guessing that this person just scripted a repeating message as an http form post or SOAP XML stream (depending on the back end of the given service...most carriers post instructions on how to do this so developers can automate text sending as a workflow response to an event in an application)with an incrementing source phone number and bogus email address. It's one of those things that takes no time to code and run but has a rather impressive result. We used to mess with each other's pagers back in the day ;)

As my Christian values kick in, I'd counsel you to feel sorry for this poor person who either:

*Is such a miserable human being that they need to make everyone else miserable too.

OR

*Had something really terrible happen to them along the lines of unsolicited texts that they feel the only way to protect themselves is with such an aggressive response.

Regardless, you'll probably never catch this person. Despite having their cell number, there would have to be some proof that they actually did this...and anyone who is any good would cover their trail more than sufficiently not to be caught. Since it didn't involve theft of large amounts of money from a big company, law enforcement with the skills necessary to backtrack this simply can't be bothered.

My 2¢
 

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Wow, I feel like I finally contributed something to a thread on here ;)
 

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My un-Christian response would be to respond in kind. Most carriers (I'd say all, but I'm sure there must be some that don't), offer the ability to send text messages to their subscribers from their web site. Verizon offers that here:

https://text.vzw.com/customer_site/jsp/messaging_lo.jsp

I'm guessing that this person just scripted a repeating message as an http form post or SOAP XML stream (depending on the back end of the given service...most carriers post instructions on how to do this so developers can automate text sending as a workflow response to an event in an application)with an incrementing source phone number and bogus email address. It's one of those things that takes no time to code and run but has a rather impressive result. We used to mess with each other's pagers back in the day ;)

As my Christian values kick in, I'd counsel you to feel sorry for this poor person who either:

*Is such a miserable human being that they need to make everyone else miserable too.

OR

*Had something really terrible happen to them along the lines of unsolicited texts that they feel the only way to protect themselves is with such an aggressive response.

Regardless, you'll probably never catch this person. Despite having their cell number, there would have to be some proof that they actually did this...and anyone who is any good would cover their trail more than sufficiently not to be caught. Since it didn't involve theft of large amounts of money from a big company, law enforcement with the skills necessary to backtrack this simply can't be bothered.

My 2¢
100% accurate - and a lot better man than me. I'd find out where he lives (you DO have his real phone number), and whip his a$$ and his kids' a$$es.

:D
 

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Push the issue, this is Telecommunications Harassment. I can't speak for every state but in Ohio it is a first degree misdemeanor on the first offense, and a FELONY of the 5th degree on any subsequent offense (unless it cost you over $1K, it's a F-5 right off the bat, and if you had been paying per text it would have been). Since most states follow similar penalties for most laws, it's likely that Minnesota will be on par with Ohio's penalties on this. Actions like that is totally unacceptable. A simple reply to your original text saying it was the wrong number is sufficient, and actions like this are purely malicious.

I was going to link a federal agency to you that may be able to help but their site is down. FWIW it's IC3.gov. They deal more specifically with mail fraud, and internet crimes, but they may be able to redirect you to the appropriate authority. Your local PD is not likely to have any idea on how to even begin to address this, and will simply log it and move on. Not to bash the local PD, but it's not likely to be anything they have any experience with and will not know how they should proceed even if they want to.
 

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Push the issue, this is Telecommunications Harassment. I can't speak for every state but in Ohio it is a first degree misdemeanor on the first offense, and a FELONY of the 5th degree on any subsequent offense (unless it cost you over $1K, it's a F-5 right off the bat, and if you had been paying per text it would have been). Since most states follow similar penalties for most laws, it's likely that Minnesota will be on par with Ohio's penalties on this. Actions like that is totally unacceptable. A simple reply to your original text saying it was the wrong number is sufficient, and actions like this are purely malicious.

I was going to link a federal agency to you that may be able to help but their site is down. FWIW it's IC3.gov. They deal more specifically with mail fraud, and internet crimes, but they may be able to redirect you to the appropriate authority. Your local PD is not likely to have any idea on how to even begin to address this, and will simply log it and move on. Not to bash the local PD, but it's not likely to be anything they have any experience with and will not know how they should proceed even if they want to.
It can't hurt to follow up, but don't get your hopes up....just saying.
 

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Oh you're right. Unless you report this to the correct agency, or get a rare officer it's not going to go anywhere.
 

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Oh you're right. Unless you report this to the correct agency, or get a rare officer it's not going to go anywhere.
It's frustrating...I work for a $4 billion company and we don't bother going after stuff like this anymore. It just never bears fruit. If we ever get hit by something that costs us real money, rather than just inconvenience, hopefully things will turn out differently.
 
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