Phone scam: We know what you want to know

Written by Julen Madariaga on March 20th, 2009

dsc_2194Another one by the cell phone scam-buster.

Take a look at the picture. This baby beeped into my life the other day at 4am, just as I was getting ready to switch into deep sleep. I knew it was spam, but I couldn’t help the reflex. I stretched out one arm, opened one eye and mentally translated as follows:

“Do you want to know the content of somebody’s cell phone conversations? Just send us the person’s number, my company will do a  special card for you. Using this card you will be able to listen to all his calls. For complete info dial: etc.”

My first reaction of course was to run for my business cards drawer and pick a couple of cards from the section “competition”. If it is a public service it cannot be immoral, I thought, and they got it well deserved, those sneaky competitors who go around trying to snitch our projects.

But then I woke up a bit more and suddenly remembered: I am in China, and it is another one of those sms.  So I just mentally marked it for my blog collection and I went back to bed. Before I closed my eyes I still had the time to draw the follwing conclusions:

  1. This cannot possibly be true.  If it were, China Mobile would be facing thousands of lawsuits .
  2. But then, if there is one place in the World where this might be true, it is right here.
  3. Either way, the author is clever. I am sure there are loads of people out there calling the number right now. Nothing is more tempting than to know what you shouldn’t know…

So we will probaby be receiving more of these. And like I usually say in these cases: if there’s anyone out there willing to test the service for CNY, please go for it and let us know in comments.

Volunteers earn a free VIP subscription.

Sharing is free, support my work:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Haohao
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • Netvibes
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • Live
  • QQ书签
  • MSN Reporter
  • 豆瓣
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • MySpace
  • FriendFeed
  • Print

Comments so far ↓

  1. Mar

    On the other hand, I know people working for China Mobile who give the police access to the records/content of private mobile phone accounts in exchange for money. No doubt others will do the same for private citizens - although the idea of a company which can provide a SIM allowing you to see everything that the corresponding phone number is doing does sound off the wall.

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Mar
    China Business Success

    It seems a bit unrealistic. If there is really such a company, there will be a lot of people who won’t be happy about that. That means violation of the privacy law. But nowadays there are so many “companies” like these that try to pull off this kind of illegal things. So, I wouldn’t be that surprised either. But I don’t think it is legal and supported by the people who like their privacy (like most people do). On the other hand, to the people that aren’t being secretly traced through their phone calls, it might be an interesting way to figure out what is being said in important phone calls to acquaintances.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Mar
    Lawrence Sheed

    Yes, this is eminently possible, and has been for at least a year or two.

    Its been possible to clone GSM cards for a while now.


    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Apr
    CHRIS (China quality inspector)

    I think the guy may able to provide the service. This kinda thing are common in China and China Telcom can do nothing about it at this stage. The CCTV reported couple scam made a fake sim card to call people and show any number to the receiver. (opps,,expect 110 can not be shown) I am sure they are able to show 110 as well, just afriad to piss the police off.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Apr


    I guess the only way to find out if they can actually do it is to go ahead and follow through!


    [Reply to this comment]

  6. May

    Anything could happen here….

    [Reply to this comment]

Leave a Comment

1 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The Living Cells of a Sheep Foetus Injection! | CHINAYOUREN