Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hate Spam Messages

Once in a while, I get spam texts via SMS. Fine. They're unavoidable. But last week, it exploded and averaged 20 messages a day. The messages chirped in at all hours. It was incredibly annoying, because who the fuck uses SMS nowadays? I don't even turn on iMessage or FaceTime. Luckily my phone is more or less permanently in silent mode. Otherwise, I think I'd literally hit the roof. Fucking idiots. Why would people respond to any of these brainless badly worded useless text messages? Okay, that was rhetorical. Same reasoning as why scams work. Anyway.

A quick check with the Do Not Call Registry (DNC) indicated that I've signed up for all services since they became available in 2013. Lodged two complaints to DNC for messages that provided more (likely fake) company details. Great. SingTel apologetically told me that there's nothing they can do about spam messages and unsolicited calls, and that in their system, they've long opted me out of marketing calls and SMSes. And I don't intend to #SimiSaiAlsoReportPolice; this is too minuscule for I-Witness. Nothing in these messages holds anything concrete. And I certainly don't read the contents in detail beyond the first two words of the preview. Blocking these numbers isn't helping much.

Spam calls are also the biggest reason why I rarely turn on the voice-call function on the phone. I get a ridiculous number of spam calls too. This probably explains why I don't pick up calls with unknown numbers, and I rarely utter even a 'hello' upfront. If I do pick up and hear an unfamiliar voice who doesn't identify herself/himself in the first three seconds, I tend to just quietly hang up. If it's important, said person would send an SMS or a WhatsApp/Skype text, or an email later. If I bother to say something, it's not a friendly 'hi'. It's a curt 'what' or 'talk fast'. The brusqueness is familiar and hilarious to friends, less entertaining to strangers. Which suits me fine. I very much prefer VOIP options. Friends always know how to get me.

This spam saga occurred on the same day my Instagram account decided to begin spamming me with ads. I've managed to stay under their radar till now. For every five posts, one ad pops up. Property ads, property training, get-rich seminars, beauty products, fashion, yoga classes, cooking classes, children's preschool sign-ups, holiday classes, tuition and whatever useless information I don't want. I DON'T WANT ANY FUCKING ADS. It's as though Instagram just threw every genre into my feed, expecting me to sift out those that I actually want. IMAGINE MY RAGE.

I wrote in twice to complain, flagged every sponsored IG ad as 'it's a scam or it's misleading', or 'it's offensive' or 'I see it too often'. Yes, every IG ad, including those from brands or stores I normally wouldn't mind- i.e. Apple, Book Depository and the various museums. I'M IN RAGE MODE. COUNT HOW MANY FUCKS I'VE USED IN THIS POST. LIKE I GIVE A HOOT ABOUT WHATEVERTHEFUCK YOU'RE SELLING. Oh sod off. It's too much. If this is a condition for using Instagram, I simply won't do it. Decided not to open Instagram for a bit from now on. It's the social media platform I can do without. I've managed to wean off Facebook mostly, and locked up my photo albums and deleted past posts.

This week, starting Sunday, the spambots seem to have decreased the hit rate on the SMSes. Best if they lose my number. It has averaged at about 10 messages a day so far. I don't have the patience to run my own spambot to hit them back. Oh I want to, but I'm a bit tied up with actual work that provides a real income. 😠

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