Spam messages booming – who to blame?

Published: 09/01/2011 05:00



Spam messages, a problem that once caused headaches for
mobile phone users, have returned. However, state management agencies still do
not know how to deal with the problem

messages returning with new tricks

Hoang Cong
Thang, a business officer of Lan Anh Phone Company headquartered on Nguyen Trai
street, said that everyday, he receives 3-5 spam messages. Even worse, these
days, as the new lunar year approaches, the number of spam messages sent to his
mobile phone has sharply increased.

“You have
a music gift from a lover. In order to get the gift and know who sent the gift,
please send a message to 6782”, a message reads. “Congratulations! You have
luckily won a prize, an iPhone 4, in our

Quaythuongngaunhien lucky draw program. In order to know more details about the
prize and the program, please send a message to 6782”.

to Thang, spam messages have been booming for the last two months. Most of the
spam messages aim to deceive mobile phone users. The messages aim to stir the
curiosity of the users and if users send messages back to the senders to “know
more details” as they are promised, they will be “trapped”, because they will
lose 10-15,000 dong for each message.

messages are very “attractive”, because they all inform that mobile phone users
receive gifts or win big prizes. Therefore, it is understandable why many people
have fallen into the traps, while others, who have learned their lesson from
other people, feel tetchy because they have to spend time reading and erasing
the messages.

Thoi Bao
Kinh Te Vietnam quoted a person who has been delivering spam messages as saying
that now is his main “business season’, because the people’s demand for shopping
increases at the year-end, therefore, the messages with “attractive” content
will easily persuade people to send messages back.

Who to

to experts, the spam messages can come from two “channels”, from content
providers (CP) and from normal subscribers. However, Vu Quoc Khanh, Director of

Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team VNCERT, affirmed
that most of CPs have strictly followed the management policy after they were
granted management codes, and that only normal subscribers can be the sources of
spam messages.

the agency which grants management codes to service providers and it runs the
456 operator system which allows mobile phone users to forward the spam messages
they receive to 456, free of charge.

while the agency also assists with tracking spam messages, it does not have the
right to impose fines on violators.

to Khanh, many mobile service providers have set up strict regulations to
heavily punish spammers. However, the service providers only impose punishments
when they receive complaints from clients, and they have ignored other cases.
This means that on one hand, service providers try to show that they are
following the current regulations, but on the other hand, they let violators “do
what they want”.

to Khanh, the problem is that service providers themselves also benefit from the
spam messages. Therefore, they will not be foolish enough to stop spam messages
and watch their income decrease.

Most of
the spam messages are sourced from pre-paid simcards, the ones called “rubbish
simcards”, because people only use once and then give them away. “There has been
no proper solution to deal with the messages sent from normal subscribers,”
Khanh admitted.

Thoi bao Kinh te Vietnam

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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