It’s all fun and games until a fun prank turns into full-on harassment. If you feel like the pranks being played on you are below the belt, it’s time to take some action. Anonymous texters and callers always feel confident and braver - we say it's time to take them down a notch.
Getting bombarded by anonymous spoofed text messages is annoying. While it’s a fun prank, there’s a line. Sending 5 text messages to someone in a day to annoy them is fair- hilarious even. Sending 500 text messages over the course of a week, day and night, on the other hand, can be considered harassment. It can even be classified as a legal offense.
When you’re being kept up all night by a steady stream of text messages from random numbers, you want to show them who’s boss. You get a ton of text messages? We say spoof call them back! Do whatever you need to do to bring them down.
Here are steps you can take when you receive spoof text messages!
If you feel like the spoof messages aren’t coming from your friends but rather from an unknown person, contact your phone company. They might have had a breach in security, and your phone number was one of those leaked. Some tell-tale signs of a data breach include relentless suspicious phone calls saying you’ve won a contest (but need to pay to redeem your prize) or messages of a certain royalty needing your help to get their money back.
Don’t send an email. Call them immediately. Some phone companies will advise you to report directly to the police. However, it’s still better to give them a heads up if you feel like your data is not safe with them.
Additionally, some phone companies like AT&T have a department that handles “annoyance” calls. If your number keeps receiving phone pranks and spoof text messages, they’ll help you block these numbers. Check with your phone company if they have a similar department that can help you.
Some pranksters don’t know when to stop. If you feel like the joke has magnified from a funny, harmless prank to actual harassment, it’s time to involve the local authorities.
Your local police unit will track whoever it is that is giving you a hard time. They have personnel equipped with the knowledge on how to trace spoof text messages. Usually, you have to file a blotter report first and show evidence of the spoof text messages before taking any kind of action. You might also find some difficulty getting the full attention of the cops if you live in a “busy” location.
If you’re getting impatient and want to find out who is sending you spoof text messages, you can consult with a private investigator if things are already getting out of hand.
A private investigator may be too much for you. You can choose to have these spoof text messages screened with your phone. Play around with your notification settings. There’s a setting that ignores all messages that don’t come from numbers on your Contacts list. Though, the problem is you may miss messages from people that aren’t on your Contacts.
Now, this is what you came here for. Are you being pranked by someone, and you want to know who it is? Read on to find out how to trace spoof text messages.
All SMS messages are delivered through a short message service center (SMSC). An SMSC is the portion of a wireless network that handles SMS operations like routing, forwarding, and storing incoming text messages.
Every SMSC has a unique address or a Global Title. This is similar to an IP Address for SS7 terms or a telephone number and Point Code. All SMS operators need to register their Unique Addresses through a country regulator. That means that the government has tabs on all SMSCs.
Every SMS message ever sent can be traced back to a company where it was sent, even if it’s spoofed. Even if the culprit took extreme lengths to hide their number, the SMS still has to go through an SMSC.
You can contact the company where their phone number is registered to find out who they are finally. Note that the legal sending party does not necessarily have to be the one sending you spoof text messages. Sometimes, these masterminds use a stolen credit card to mask their identity further.
If your prankster went through these lengths to hide who they are, then tracking them down is not worth it. You can block their phone number. Give it a few days, and one of your friends is bound to come clean. If no one comes forward? It might not be a prankster at all - scam calls have a similar M.O.
Did you find out who was pranking you? If you want to enact revenge on your friend, give us a call! Ownage Pranks accepts prank requests, so just message us with the info. You’ll surely get them back for keeping you up at night with spoof text messages. If you want, you can also prank them back yourself! Check out Ownage Pranks’ Blog on the best prank ideas like How To Enact The Best John Cena Prank Call.
If you found out it wasn’t a prankster after all - Ownage Pranks still has a way to settle the score. Whether you are dealing with Indian scammers or IRS impersonators, you can try prank calling their numbers and show them what it’s like to be on the other end of an annoying call.
Related: Can Prank Dialers Be Traced?