Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Bad Bro

A few weeks ago, my cell phone rang with the special tone reserved for text messages. I scrambled for the phone and looked at the message. It said plainly : "Hi".  I couldn't identify who it came from, except that it appeared to be a local cell phone number.
Next, when it rang again shortly, it was a message from my mother, signed by her. I looked at the number and it appeared to be the same as the earlier one, so marked that up in my cell phone directory as 'Amma'.
Some days later, I received a couple of puzzling text messages from 'Amma', something about "Whassup bro", with some added commentary that seems too prurient for a family blog. I deleted the messages, wondering whether I had wrongly tagged some strange phone number with 'Amma'. I  just hoped this troll would vanish, without giving further trouble.
But there was more to come. I lent the phone to S for use while he went to the local Science Center. He returned it to me after the trip, asking "Amma, did you send me a text message while I was there? I didn't read it. though. Or maybe, was it from Aachi (grandma)?"
I examined the phone. It was a 'rooster and cat' joke. (I will not print it here, but the curious can google it, if they choose.) Did S read it? Why was he insistent he didn't read it? Or maybe he read it but chose to keep silent about the contents. It hardly matters.
I was getting nervous. Who is this mysterious personage tagged 'Amma' who sends adult jokes and random incomprehensible ramblings to my cell phone?
Yesterday, the phone went off again, with sure enough, another text from 'Amma'. Only, this time it was "Yo bro have a good time at the prom, From: Amma".
Ah, mystery solved at last. Some gentleman who had entered the wrong phone number to a friend and was texting me thinking I was him. Not a phone-stalker as I had feared.
I promptly sent a text message back this time. "Sorry wrong number"
He sent back a puzzled "Huh?"
I sent "I keep getting messages but am not the right person. Check your telephone number before sending."
A few minutes later, " Oh my bad bro"
Hopefully, that's the last message I receive from 'My Bad Bro' who masquerades (or was forced to masquerade as) 'Amma'.

On comparing notes with my husband, he has the exact same number listing the same messages. This is one heck of a spammer. Unfortunately, our cell phone carriers don't provide any way to block particular numbers, so we're stuck with this 'Bad Bro', unless we turn off all text message service, I guess.

Update 2:
This NY Times article suggests a way out of spammer hell. I'm going to try it.

In the meantime, as I wouldn't wish to leave you without a little entertainment after ploughing through all this mess, here's a real rooster and cat video for your edification.


Chris@Knucklehead! said...

I think I can guess the punchline to the cat and rooster joke.

Text spam...what will they think of next?

Sujatha said...

Have you been afflicted too, Chris?
On a side note, following the instructions in the article helped. So no more messages from My Bad Bro. :)