Written by Pavan Kumar on December 17, 2008
We have seen a good response for the free fake sms post. But one particular comment made me think twice and the same is responsible for this post. As we all know spoofing sms is against law and is a crime. I am not sure if there are any punishment, lets discuss the problems which may arise by leaving such a service free for public use.
I really loved the service and it is really cool as the name says, but think in a reverse way, what else can happen with that service.
Free to send sms from any number:
I don’t mean about cost, its the freeness of user to use the service as he needs. Say, I send you an sms from +919900145368 (It is My Today Number) saying "MyToday is now suffering a financial crisis and will be a premium service. If you want to be served by it, please pay Rs. 50/- to our account number xxxxxxxxxxxxx of yyyyyyyyy Bank." What will you do? You may not pay, but the ones who are really benefitted, will simply pay, RS.50 is not great amount for its service. Say, 100 people pay Rs. 50/-, I will have Rs. 5000 ($100) in pocket for a small time I spent. This is just an example – you can imagine how this service may be used for ill activities. Terrorists now have got another great tool apart from twitter. May be someone use it to bring bad fame to you. Or even your competitors make wrong use of this service to defame your product…. Anything is possible
Let us not simply deal with the problem, lets think of solution:
- Adding a header / footer in the message body: Even there are different email spoof services online, but they add a footer to say it is a fake mail. May be this particular way will lose them popularity. I have other alternatives.
- Make it a register compulsory service: The users have to register before they can send sms. If users are registered, there can be some control about the users. The system will have the users’ mail id. Planning for fake accounts right? Nopes, registering means, registering including your mobile number. They have to verify your number by sending a secret code and confirmation. Now, if they allow you to send sms from your number, that’s fine. In this case there is no need of header / footer.
- Confirm each number genuineness: This is the best way I suggest the service to be. We users don’t need to register for the service and recipient will receive the sms as sent from the original number.
In my view, implementing the first will make them among the list of any other service. If they want to stand unique and dominate the similar services, third option is the best. If they also wish to have a user community, better pick the second option. Best way is to give some free trial sms per mobile number and then asking users to register.
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