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How to Block Cell Phone and SMS Spam

I have posted about this before but some idiot spammer is using a fake @jordoncooper.com address as a return address to spam cell phones with.  Since this costs some people money, they are upset but as I have said, I don’t have anything to do with it.  This is a personal site that doesn’t sell anything.  Whoever it is, they are using a fake address and header so they don’t get tracked down and so they don’t have to deal with all of the angry e-mail about it or incur the wrath of those who are being charged by the message. 

On the suggestion of some of you, I have talked to my ISP about it and asked them to make sure there isn’t a security hole in WordPress or in my site that someone is exploiting.  They looked into it and it isn’t coming from my domain.  Their reply was

…the spammer is just using your domain as the return address so they don’t have to deal with the bounce messages and to try to throw people off the scent (so to speak).

In addition to this I have set up a Sender Policy Framework which makes verifies which mail has been sent from my site and which is sent from a forged address and gives that information to spam sites.  Sadly that information isn’t used by most cell phone carriers.

How to block cell phone and SMS spamThere is a solution!  When looking into the problem, I found this blog post from David Pogue of the New York Times on how to block cell phone spam.  It blocks messages from the web while allowing SMS messages to go on through.  You can also block domain names (like jordoncooper.com which is fine since I don’t send e-mail from it anyways). This way it blocks the moron who is using my domain name in vain AND allows you to keep getting your SMS messages.

Finally, this is a non-commercial hobby site with no revenue stream.  It would make sense to go after the site that is selling whatever products the spam is promoting.  They are the ones that would benefit from the spam and are probably the ones paying the jerk who is spamming you and making my life difficult.

I wish I could offer up more help but I haven’t even seen the messages that are being sent out.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

One Comment

  1. […] Update: I have posted some more information about what is happening here. […]