NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SMS Spam About Premium Value Service Circulating in Finland Posted by Jarno @ 11:09 GMT

CERT-FI is warning about SMS messages being sent by GTradeInc which are about subscription confirmation to a premium value service. These messages are apparently being sent to random people who have not ordered such service or taken part in Facebook or other campaign that would ask phone numbers.

The SMS messages contain the following content:

Mainoskirje aktivoitu. Saat 3 mainosta/vko. Hinta 20e/kk, veloitetaan puhelinlaskussasi. Peruuta milloin tahansa ilmaiseksi, tekstaa: TXT5 PERU numeroon 17163.

A brief English translation is that an advertising campaign has been activated, the subscriber will receive three advertisements per week, price being 20�/month, cancellation can be done at any time for free.

It is still unclear whether an actual billing agreement has been made, and would people actually receive bills. Also, there have been claims that the cancellation message would actually cost 5�, which is possible as 17163 is in the paid SMS range.

According to CERT, no billing can be done without user approval. So people should not try to contact GTradeInc, and just ignore the messages and write a reclamation if additional charges appear in their phone bill.

However, contacting your phone operator might be wise to confirm that no billing agreement has been made with GTradeInc.