Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)

Search

Loading...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Text Messaging Scam: Blind Cell Phone Users Beware!

If you are a cell phone user, and are blind or visually impaired enough that you can't read your cell phone's screen, you may want to contact your service provider and have text messaging turned off. If you have an accessible cell phone, watch out for messages from 42222. This warning from a fellow APH employee explains it all, her message follows.

I use my cell phone very little and usually keep it turned off. I never use text messaging.

I received a text message from 42222 which I opened, thinking it might be one of those general welcome to our service messages from Verizon or something like that. The message said something like welcome to saurus...and I think it mentioned Verizon. I wasn't interested and did not read further, still thinking this was perhaps one of those welcome to our new service messages. I kept getting messages from 4222 and did not open them.

I was billed 10 cents for each text message and 9.99 for a download on my cell phone bill.

I have never downloaded ringtones or anything else.

The Verizon customer services rep said this was "Blinko" and she agreed to remove the charges for the text messages but not the download. The 9.99 download was the charge just for OPENING AND READING the initial message. Thankfully, I had not opened all 9 messages.

She had me text message the word quit to them and then put a block on text messages so I can no longer receive or send them.

I did a quick google on 4222 on text message fraud and found this was a number used by some other fraudulent services that seem to be part of a class action suit, and references Jamster and bighippo. I only found one reference to Blinko, which is what Verizon said was the fraudster in this case. I am not sure if there is a relation to Jamster and Blinko. They seem to be based in Italy, per this article. http://thrnewmedia.com/ask_expert/new/board_main.php?id=43

Probably all of you reading this have been heavy cell phone users for a long time and would never be taken in by opening a message from someone you did not know, but I thought I would spread the word, just in case. Also, I had not known one could just block text messaging. We had to ask if there was something to do to stop messages like this, and she said they could block them.

Some of the stories I read about the jamster fraud suggest that blocking the service and emailing them "quit" may not be the end of the story, and I won't know I suppose until I have received a few more bills from Verizon and confirmed that this is really settled.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.



The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.





The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.





Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.





Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.





Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email fredshead@aph.org to request permission.





Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.





Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.





Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.