The Express Tribune reported on Monday that Pakistan mobile subscribers received a deluge of SMS spam on the eve of the Pakistan – India semi-final of the Cricket World Cup. The spam ranged from tickets to match-viewing events to special deals just for the day.
What is perhaps most alarming is that these seemingly legitimate mobile marketers are using illegally sourced lists of mobile numbers to target subscribers by region or socio-economic group. To prevent detection by the mobile networks the messages are sent from a second-hand computers via attached GPRS modems fitted with pre-paid unregistered SIM cards that are kept on rotation – To go to this level of effort suggests that the spammers are making significant amounts of money out of their activities.
The article suggests that the problem of SMS spam in Pakistan is getting worse and is left largely unchecked and unregulated. If nothing is done it won’t be long before the local operators start seeing a decline in mobile advertising revenue as subscribers start questioning the legitimacy of the SMS advertising messages they receive – A salutary lesson for mobile networks operators in countries where SMS spam is just beginning to rear its ugly head.