Tag Archives: sms

AfriForum SMS Spam a Scam? General Nonsense 05 SEP 2014

I received this delightful gem in my SMS inbox yesterday:

AfriForum spreek beweerde bedrog aan by Elandsbaai Vismark. Ons kort ALMAL se hulp. SMS jou naam na 45265 (R1) of STOP om te staak.

This isn’t the first SMS message I’ve received from AfriForum in recent weeks mind you, though that said, I have no idea if this is indeed the work of AfriForum at all!

It’s probably best to begin with the fact that I have no affiliation to the group whatsoever – they appear to be an Afrikaaner non-profit rights group that seem particularly keen on bringing to light corruption, especially when it affects Afrikaaners. Now I’m not particularly fond of activist groups composed around a particular aspect like language, ethnicity, demographic or religion, which in turn means that I am VERY much sure that I’ve never previously interacted with the group whatsoever, hence the particular dislike for this spam that keeps hitting my SMS inbox. (The Democratic Alliance (DA) spam is at least tolerable, annoying make no mistake, but tolerable, purely because I at least vote for the party so therefore I can expect them to have my details on file).

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. My question is simple, is the AfriForum SMS simply spam or a more insidious scam?

Why? Well the use of a premium rated shortcode bothers me here. The minute a premium rated shortcode comes into play then you know that somewhere, someone is making money. If the premium rate was high, let’s say R10 or R20, then it feels like a donation drive and as such you can be pretty sure to find some news around the campaign somewhere in the media, thus validating it. If you don’t, well then it is probably scam and you should definitely not be responding to it.

However, at such a low premium rated number, based on the percentage split that the initiating party receives for an incoming SMS, it becomes very difficult to make a large amount of money unless you are guaranteed a very large reply base, which then raises the question, why use a premium rated shortcode at all? I work in this industry so I know how easy it is to set up a shortcode that can make me a few bucks in just a handful of minutes. Who is to say that this isn’t exactly what is going on here? If AfriForum did indeed set this up, then they need to publicize it in the media in order to let the public know it is legitimate. Searching on their website or on Google turns up nothing regarding Elandsbaai + AfriForum, which means that I have to infer that this could quite possible be a scam and that somewhere, someone is hoping to line their pockets with a little bit of Afrikaaner coin.

So AfriForum, scam or not?

sms message received on a mobile phone otherwise known as a cellphone

Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830: How to Forward an SMS CodeUnit 30 SEP 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 is a nice mid-range Android phone running 2.2 Froyo with Touchwiz 3.0 on top. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now, and only just learned how to forward an SMS on to another person! (Ridiculous I know, but that’s what you get thanks to the unintuitive nature of touchscreen interfaces!)

To forward a SMS on is actually quite easy. Enter any of the threaded SMS conversations that are sitting in your SMS inbox. Locate the message you want to forward to another user and touch and hold that particular message until the previously hidden contextual menu pops up. From there it is a simple matter of selecting the Forward Message option.

And now you know! :)

Google Calendar: SMS Reminder Notifications CodeUnit 30 DEC 2010

Google Calendars is an extremely useful, versatile and powerful calendar application which is available almost anywhere where you can find some sort of data connection – and most importantly of all, it is completely FREE to use. One of the nifty features of this calendar app is it notification functionality, which basically allows you to receive reminder notifications for events in your calendar as they become current.

The even better news is that you can also get these notifications via SMS straight to your cellphone (or mobile phone if you prefer that term :P).

So how do you achieve this then?

Well to enable SMS reminders is pretty simple actually. First, log into Google Calendar and hit the Settings menu at the top right of the page. There, under Calendar Settings, navigate to the tab named Mobile Setup. Once in this screen, enter all your details and begin the mobile number verification process as prompted by the page.

Basically what will happen is that after you have entered your cellphone number with the correct country code in place, you will receive a verification code via SMS. Enter this code into the settings window and you’re done.

Next, return back to the main calendar settings tab and click on the notifications link next to any of the available calendars.

This new area will allow you to specify the notification delivery method as well reminder interval, meaning that after you have saved your new settings, pretty soon your SMS inbox will be flooded by a whole lot of loving Google reminder notifications.

Useful for remembering things just in case you happen to be out on the road!

SMS Server Tools 3: Send a Blank SMS using a PHP Script CodeUnit 25 JAN 2010

SMS Server Tools 3 is a great little SMS Gateway software which you can pair up nicely with some PHP scripts in order to send and receive SMSes.

Today’s little trick shows you how to send a blank (i.e. no text body) SMS using a PHP script to generate the outgoing spool file.

//$body is SMS text body | $phone is number being sent to
$handle = fopen('/var/spool/sms/outgoing/filesendname, "w");
$body = stripslashes(urldecode($body));
fputs($handle, "To: +$phonen");
fputs($handle, "Alphabet: ISO8859-15n");
fputs($handle, "n");
if (strlen($body) > 0)
    fputs($handle, "$body");
    fputs($handle, "n");

What the script does is actually pretty simple at heart. The first step is to create a new file handle in which to store the SMS contents, this file being created in the outgoing spool folder specified by your SMS3 configuration. Then you simply insert the correct text into the file, ensuring you keep strictly to the format used in the example above. The only little trick is that in order for it to process correctly when it comes to blank SMSes, you need to insert a new line n character to replace what would have been the SMS body.

And Bob’s your uncle.

Related Link: http://smstools3.kekekasvi.com/

How to send a Vodacom Please Call Me Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 24 JAN 2010

This is actually more of a reminder to me than anything else, because no matter how many times I try, I simply can’t remember how to send one of these damn things from my phone when it matters (not that I ever do of course – but they do come in handy when you are testing SMS response systems for example!)

Way back in 2000 Vodacom launched this money-making scheme… urm service, which essentially allows a vodacom client to send a free SMS to another person asking them to phone back (like in the instance when you have no money but you really want to talk to your stripper girlfriend.)

Vodacom pushes the request to the person (they do about 20 million a day) and attaches advertising to the Please Call Me request, which in other words has the potential to bring in a huge chunk of advertising revenue per month for the buggers – just saying.

Anyway, back to the ‘how to’ at hand, because I’m getting a little off the track here. In order to send a Please Call Me to another person, you simply need to dial *140*phonenumber# where phonenumber is the number of the person that you wish to make contact with. (And don’t forget the control character # at the end.)

And that’s that. Pretty simple after all. You’d think someone like me would remember that, now wouldn’t you? O.o

(Oh, and as an added feature, if you dial *140# from your phone and follow the relevant menu options, you can actually set a name that is to be added after each Please Call Me request – meaning now at least the recipient knows who is trying to get him to spend some money by asking him to give a call back in the first place!)

Related Link: http://www.vodacom.co.za/services/callme_how.jsp