Paul Makepeace ;-)

April 22, 2005

82277 SMS spam

Posted in: Drivel

Grr, just checked my phone bill and a whole series of unsolicited £1.50 reverse-billed SMSs ("text spam") have been charged to my account:

Sunshine Quiz Wkly Q! Win a top Sony DVD player if u know which country Liverpool played in mid week? Txt ansr to 82277. £1.50 SP:Tyrone

Naively I figured this meant I'd be charged a buck fifty for the privilege of replying and so ignored it. But oh no, that's to receive it. So somehow I've "signed up" for this service, as that's the only legal way to be charged like this AFAIK.

Orange (my phone provider) suggested:
1. immediately text STOP to 82277; this will only cost standard SMS rate
2. Call the company's number, 0870 4050406 and ask for a refund

By law they must keep a record of the original request for this service. That particular phone number goes to an answer phone so I'll have to wait to find out how I enrolled...

I'm quite certain I didn't knowingly sign up for this. What's annoying is the marginal benefit of getting that nine quid refunded is almost certainly beyond most people's hassle so these guys get away with it. Grr.

The joy of Internet publishing however is that I can spend four minutes writing this blog entry, it'll be indexed by search engines, and other folk will find it: a gift to that company that will keep on giving...

Update 2005-04-29: Got a call from MNT Wilson Ltd on Monday assuring me I'd hear back by Thursday for the source of "my" original subscription. Friday now, still no word from them. Left another message.

Update 2005-05-08: This issue has been resolved

Posted by Paul Makepeace at April 22, 2005 12:42 | TrackBack

Hi Paul
Check it out at Grumbletext:

here you can see if anyone else has had the same scam, share your story with others and also report your pain to ICSTIS. You may even be able to locate which aggregator is behind 82277!

Posted by: Helen at April 22, 2005 14:06

Thanks Helen! Digging about they have a section on reporting to the ICSTIS using a handy automated system via SMS, of course!

I'll wait to see if these 82277 guys call back and then whack 'em.

Posted by: Paul Makepeace at April 22, 2005 14:42

Just found this comment about 82277 SMS spam on (identically at on which pretty much matches with my experience.

This blog entry is now (2005-04-24) Google #1 for "82277 spam", "82277 sms", and "82277 sunshine". Apparently the company involved is MNT Wilson Ltd so perhaps that'll get picked up by the search engines too...

Posted by: Paul Makepeace at April 24, 2005 04:26

I've been had by these guys too and i definately have not signed up for anyone to charge my £1.28 to text my a stupid competition i'm not interested in. These guyts must be stopped - this is Fraud !! Will do i can to get these guys locked up.

Posted by: david at April 29, 2005 17:30

i got the same message but it was sent from 82388!!!

i cant get my money back, so all i have to do is send STOP to 82388 right??

Posted by: g at June 14, 2005 12:35

I just recieved a call from them promising a £1000 luxury holiday with "absolutely, definatly no charge" only a free text message to be recieved. I managed to learn that consequent texts would cost £1.50 a pop. NEway whilst on the phone i inquired of their name and looked up this site on my laptop. Ha what a con I almost forgot the golden rule: "IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD 2 BE TRUE, IT ABSOLUTLY, DEFIN ATLY IS!!! What a con. Cheers Guys.

Posted by: heresjono at September 30, 2005 15:35

i have the same problem, i am also getting texts from 82388 and being charged £1.50 for each one but when i try to text STOP, it won't send! any suggestions please? thanks

Posted by: suze at January 9, 2006 22:39

I am also getting 'jokes' from 82388 - who is sending them and how did they get my number?

Posted by: Craig at February 9, 2006 19:58

im getting the "jokes" from 82388. i called o2 and they said to send a stop message, which i had already done and didnt work. it kept failing. so they are investigating it but it will take 5days. which means im gunna keep getting these messages, being charged £1.50 a day WHICH is unfair. im not going to get my money back.

Posted by: Ruth at February 11, 2006 17:33


Have O2 said that they won't give you any money back. Surely, their network should be secure and as such they should be able to claim the money back of the company sending these messages. Did they say how they got your number. These people are the scum of the earth. Worse than internet fraud. I used to work for O2 and there policy was always get things out to customers whatever the rage it is going to cause, as they figure if they get away with 10000 but lose two or three angry customers along the way it is good business.

Letme know what you think.

Posted by: Colin Gwynn at February 11, 2006 18:29

My brother got messages from 82388 as well. When he tried to reply "Stop" the message failed too. The way round this is to compose a new "Stop" message and send it to them. It worked for him I hope it works for you too. He got a cancellation confirmation text within about twenty minutes.

Posted by: Michael at February 12, 2006 14:02

Re 82388 numbers. The number is registered to WIN Stock - (0845 130 99 11). Texting STOP to the number worked for me, though I did add some abuse to the message. I also found O2 helpful in the matter (08705 678 678). They will request a stop on your behalf. They informed me that some of these bastards send texts to numbers at random, which is the only way they could have got mine. O2 say it is unlikely that a refund will be paid.

Posted by: Graham Jepps at February 14, 2006 18:45

I am not happy at all. How did they get my number, I did not authorise to this. There should be a law set against this and a refund policy. I got charged £5.11 ex vat on my last o2 bill. I texed "stop", I hope this helps. Thanks for your useful info guys.

Posted by: monique rodgers at March 14, 2006 02:37

>>>follow on to my previous post, Iam already charged £2.55 ex vat on my current bill, so I hope this is the last of my mobile bill money going down the drain.

Posted by: monique rodgers at March 14, 2006 02:40

The 82277 scam has just happened to me.
I did not 'sign up' to any service to this rip off company. I had six sucessive phone messages advising of a file download and a £9:00 debit off my PAYG. have rung the 0870 number listed in the orignial article, awaiting with bated breath as to whether this lot refund.I can't believe this sort of thing has not been made illegal by now given the publicity I have now seen looking on the web showing back to 2005.

Posted by: Simon Trethewey at February 26, 2007 11:55

re: posting of Feb 26 2007. The 82277 client helpline have now refunded me £9:00.
They initially said I had made 22 requests for valantine bitmaps!I may be a 50 Year old romantic but I don't think I am that nerdish!. anyway sorted.

Posted by: Simon Trethewey at March 27, 2007 17:13

I dialled 08712316594 and apparently if you follow their orders you can have your number removed. They must have stolen over a hundred quid from me. o2 are w**kers...

Posted by: ase at August 17, 2007 16:15

My advice to everyone is as follows: change to pay-as-you-go.

These scumbag reverse rate companies are making millions, such as MX Telecom. An Icstis fine of £10,000 means nothing to MX Telecom. It can afford to pay and will likely in time change its name.

The issue has to go to Parliament. I raised it with my MP a couple of years ago. More people need to do the same.

These companies should be closed down and their assets seized. What they are doing is clearly illegal: sending unwanted messages, costing the receiver about £3 a message. Often these messages are of a sexual nature.

What worries me is that a lot of people simply pay their bills by direct debit and don't check their bank accounts. Many people probably don't even know what their bank balance is.

I don't touch direct debit, for anything.

Tik Tok

Posted by: Tik Tok at September 22, 2007 14:25

I had credit stolen from my pre-pay account recently. Eventually, after going through PhonePayPlus, I got an apology and a £5 note.

I was outraged by the attitude of my mobile telco which insists that it has the right to pass these charges on, although the contract T&Cs do not say so.

I am planning to dump my account with my present telco and go to one which enables you to block SMS theft messages.

Posted by: John at January 20, 2008 08:15

DDOS = server down = loss of revenue = THEY WILL get the message.

Make sure this is never done out of Africa, understand what im saying.

Also to add, on the Russian news, there was a ddoser who got caught for ddos ing bank websites and asking for money to stop his attacks.

He wrote simple viruses (modified) and would have can e computers from around the world attack the banks servers, knocking them down.

He made a good living doing this to good honest people.

OH, the phone company if called, cannot deny you the information of WHO sent the message.

so if the message ends up on your computer (you can see the IP adress) IP adress can be reverse searched and a location on the world map will be given.
Also you can call the ISP provider who issued that IP adress at that time and downright get them in trouble with their ISP also.

Also, dont rule out that ISP can be the spamer to.

Look up the words Scriptkiddy.. good place to start learning.

Posted by: Igor at February 9, 2009 01:39
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