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The case of the Neverending SMS Series

··700 words·4 mins

Most of the Ruby gang are very well aware of the “Stupid SMS series”. For the uninitiated, it was Nitin’s way of…. umm… timepass ? by sending SMS to all of the Ruby gang which made absolutely no sense whatsoever ( I hate to admit it, but it’s true, Nitin is a version of “The Amit").

Anyways back to the post,  couple of days ago, as I was spending time in morning, my iPhone started to buzz away. It wasn’t very surprising, since getting a message in morning isn’t something out of the ordinary. Opened the message only to see it was a blank SMS from an unknown number. Ignored it at first, but then the buzzing went on continuously. In a matter of few minutes my inbox looked like this:

I got a breather for few minutes, and then it started AGAIN. Much worse than first, “wave” if you will. The way I was getting, I was wondering if it was some sort of mass-SoSS (Sending of Spam SMS, my term, just move on). In an hour, I got nearly 100 blank messages. 100. ONE HUNDRED. Think about! One frikking hundred messages.

What’s worse is that because of the way iPhone works, soon as you get an SMS, there’s a popup on the screen showing (x) new SMS. And you can’t make it go away. Not by pressing Home button, lock, unlock yadda, yadda, yadda - nothing. Only way to make it go away is by tapping the “close” button ( yeah - think about tapping “Close"x100 times). I was frantically trying to switch off the sound and vibration, so that it becomes less irritating and doesn’t resemble a giant sex toy vibrator. Meanwhile I was thinking of an blacklist application, so that this frikkin' madness can  stop and I distinctly remember reading about iBlacklist on Cydia. Immediately launched Cydia so that I could install it. Now since I was accessing it via EDGE, I loath having to open Cydia because it has to undergo an entire refresh repository cycle. Given that these SMS were coming in thick and fast, the data connection would timeout and Cydia would crash 😐

Finally, I was able to connect to Cydia and install iBlacklist. Next step was to figure out, who this bugger was. Suksy pointed me to a site where I could get details on approximate location, based on the number (thanks dude - much appreciated!) & figured that this bugger is a Chennai guy and has a Vodafone connection. Next up called Airtel and spoke to them about my predicament. Airtel customer care mentioned that since it was a Vodafone number they couldn’t do much, but they informed me to call up Vodafone customer care or the Cyber Crime cell. I tried to  give Vodafone Vodafail customer care number but all I got was a “Number is too busy”. ENTIRE FREAKING DAY. Ever heard of Customer Care numbers being busy whole day ? Yeah.

I posted on Chip forums if anyone had Vodafone number, Giri informed me that he was near a Vodafone centre and asked me to send the number over to him. Ashwin also asked me to send over the number to him, and I did so. Giri replied couple of hours later informing me that Vodafone Vodafail is helpless and could not do anything ( HUH?? MORONS!). Anyhow at this time iBlacklist was taking care of the SMS and I got involved in work. Next day, I got a call from the same number (I’d setup the blacklist for SMS, not calls), the guy seemed frantic and kept saying he got the phone just yesterday, he has no idea how this happened, said he won’t do it again. (heh). He also mentioned something about getting calls from Bangalore and asking not to get his number barred (heh, Ashwin at work). Anyhow I said OK, OK in my broken Tamil never got a call or SMS from him. I did examine the blacklist history, and seems that there was close to 170 SMS that I received from him. With Rs. 0.25 charged per message, I can only feel sorry for the unwanted expenditure of the guy. Oh well.