Did you know a "telemarketer" can send you pornographic photos on your cell phone without your permission? Guess how I know.
While sitting in my quilting group meeting this morning, I heard the tone that alerted me of a text message. Since my daughter is about the only person who does that, I flipped my phone open--to see an obscene picture on my screen. Shocked, I immediately erased it, but had difficulty keeping my mind on the meeting after that. (No, not because of the image!) I didn't recognize the number, nor could I think of anyone who would dare to send me that, but how did they get, or choose, my number? I only give my cell number out to family and close friends, my vet, and my doctor. My work doesn't even know I own a cell phone.
Within 2 hours, I had received two more photos. I was livid. Since the subject line had Fw: Fw: Fw: on it, and had no messages with my name on it, I assumed the person was just sending these out to random numbers. If he/she was sending it to an acquaintance, there would most likely have been a follow-up text or call to see if I'd received the photos. Wrong number? Who dials a wrong number 3 times in a row?
I called my carrier, Verizon, but the only suggestions they had were to block the number (for $5.00/month) or change my number.
Why should I pay to NOT have porn sent to my phone? I'm already being charged each time it's sent to me. And why should I go through all the trouble of changing my number? If it's being randomly chosen by the sender, what's to prevent this from happening again?
Verizon was no help.
I called the Sheriff's department, as I am in the county, and they sent a deputy out. Two of them, actually. In 2 different cars. The female deputy never said a word, never made eye contact, and everytime I looked at her, she looked away. The male deputy was professional and polite, but between them both, I felt like an idiot.
He asked me if I'd called the number back. No, I was treating it like spam--don't reply and they don't know it's a valid number. Had I tried asking Verizon to block the call? They can't do that. I told him I felt it was a random dialing, but had happened 3 times and I wanted to press charges if possible. He told me it was not against the law to send me porn photos on my phone, but he would call this number and give the person a warning. I told him if they could get my number, what was keeping them from sending these pictures to children?
About 10 minutes after they left, the deputy called me back. Seems it's a telemarketing ploy--they wanted to set him up with explicit chat lines. I asked if that was before or after they found out who he was. He wasn't amused. He again recommended I call Verizon to have them block the call.
So I went to a reverse phone lookup site, found out the city and the carrier. Guess who? Verizon. When I phoned them to notify them one of their customers is sending out pornographic photos to random numbers, and asked that his/her number be blocked from doing this, they stated they couldn't do that without the owner's permission. What idiot is going to consent to that??? Just cancel the account! Nope, not possible. They suggested the same 2 options. I suggested they are irresponsible.
Frustrated, I dialed the FCC, but their recorded message recommends using their internet addy to contact them. I went online, relisted my cell with the Do Not Call Registry, printed the form for reporting unwanted telemarketer calls, and will be mailing it in.
I also sent emails to two local television stations, suggesting this might be something they would want to further investigate and report to the public, but haven't heard anything back yet.
Tonight, I received another message. I texted the number back, informing the party I was reporting them to the FCC, and had already reported them to Verizon and the Sheriff's Department. He/She made a big joke about it, used profanity, and stated they would contact me "tomarrow". I texted back DO NOT CONTACT ME AGAIN.
J-Man suggested I contact our congressman, and I'm thinking of doing that. I can't believe this is permissible by law. How do these people get their numbers? What is to prevent these porno-marketers from sending their obscene and explicit photos to teenagers, or younger children? This number is registered--it's not a disposable cell phone. Why can't something be done about it?
Has anyone been the subject of unsolicited porn via your cell phone? What did you do?