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How To Exact Revenge On Real Estate Spam Callers And SMS
If you are receiving a lot of spam from SMS and cold callers for real estate services or any other industry, and want to exact a little revenge on these spammers, read on for some ideas.
You know how annoying these things can be.
For some reason, your personal number was harvested and plotted into the database of spammers who call themselves marketers. Then you started receiving an avalanche of calls or SMS soliciting customers for business on either services you have no interest in or stuff you did not opt-in for.
Some people see spam SMS as just another day in the office. While for others, including me, find this a gross invasion of privacy and a huge source of irritation.
I don’t know which camp you belong to. But I have firmly positioned myself as an anti-spam person.
This is partly because I have recently been receiving a lot of spam SMS for new condominium sales launch events when I have not entered my number into any website or lead generation road shows.
In fact, if I trace my actions backwards, I find that the sudden spike of these unsolicited SMS coincide with the timing of just a few occasions when I left my number behind.
- The public hospital when I made myself the contact person for a patient
- Installing a car-hailing app on my phone
- Installing a bike-share app on my phone
Other than these 3 instances where I left my phone number behind, there was no other incident that coincide with the time period of when the spam started to pick up.
I don’t think businesses that collect phone numbers should be selling our contact information to third parties.
Shouldn’t they be marketing their own services to us instead?
I wouldn’t be so pissed if they had done that. But to sell out phone numbers to service providers who offer things that we have no interest in is just pathetic.
Now I’m getting so many messages on my phone daily that it really bothers me.
So I don’t see anything wrong with fighting back and getting back at them. I decided to explore ways to exact a little revenge to the people who are buying our phone numbers for their spamming activities.
A word of warning. You are responsible for your own actions.
What is your target?
If you don’t know, marketers and real estate agents who spam with SMS engage the service of SMS blasters.
These service providers use machines, electronic devices, and software that churn for hours a days. Sending out as much as 500,000 SMS per hour!
They do this by using burner phone numbers that can be deleted or expire after a certain time. Meaning there is no one at the end of the line if you were to dial back the number of origination of a spam text message.
A typical advertising spam SMS might look like this:
+98 7654 3210
Best Value Condo
Mins to Subway
Walk to K-Mall
4BR fr $827k
Call/SMS John at 1234 5678
The number + 98 7654 3210 is the phone number of origin. And thus, the burner number. There will be no point targeting that number at all because it can be easily be trashed by the service provider.
The number in bold 1234 5678 is the number of the agent who is buying your number and spamming you to death. This is the source of your annoyance.
You might think that all you need to do to stop this madness is to call back and ask good-old Johnny boy to stop his antics. But that would not get you anywhere. What’s probably going to happen is that he would agree but not follow up.
This is because the numbers database belong to the SMS blasting company. It is just too troublesome to inform them to delete your number from the database. And even if John indeed calls the company to request removing your numbers, there is little chance that the company would do so as they can still sell your contact to others.
This is why there is a need to focus your revenge efforts on the buyers… which is the source of the problem.
It’s just like sharks fin. If there are no consumers for it, there will be no fishing boats catching them. Which is why efforts are being made to educate consumers not to consume the delicacy.
What is the revenge strategy?
The best action is to give the spammers a taste of their own medicine.
Bearing in mind that there is very little likelihood that you will be able to remove your number from the spammers now that you are just a statistic to them, and that you have chosen not to go quietly and suffer from their black hat tactics, going for the an-eye-for-an-eye strategy sound really fair to me.
These spammers who are barely toeing the line separating legal and illegal… after all see blasting our phone numbers as legit marketing tactics. It’s fair game to do so.
So it’s also fair game to do the same to them too.
After all, in the telemarketing industry business phone numbers have no protection from spam legislation. And since property agents are using their own phone numbers as indicated in the previous example to conduct business, their numbers are fair game to telemarketers too.
So the strategy here is to make them the receiver of spam as well. The key here is not to do it yourself.
It makes little sense to spend money and time to do execute this plan yourself. What can you do? Prank call? Text them about an affair hoping that their spouse will see them? Let’s not stress yourself with that.
The smarter way is to put them into the database of spammers who are more hardcore than them.
Who? You will find a list below.
But before that, it is important to address an issue before proceeding with your vigilante pursuit of justice.
Getting prepared so that you are untraceable
Technically speaking, there is a chance that a pissed off agent might be able to trace where the source of his own medicine come from.
This can happen when he receives a spam SMS from another spammer, contacts them and request for the IP log of the individual (presumably you?) who input his number into their system. While it is unlikely that a spammer would give away these details, there is still a chance of it happening.
Anyway, even if an agent do get your IP address, there is very little he can do about it.
But there is a cleaner way to do this… without having your IP address exposed.
Enter the world of VPN.
VPN stand for virtual private network. It enables you to surf the internet on a “fake” or “shared” IP address. In layman terms, it means that who was using an IP address to do a specific act is as good as untraceable.
There are many technical reasons why this can be achieved. But this is not a technology site. So let’s not get into those details. Just know that VPN will protect your privacy.
A problem you might face is that most VPNs run on software that need to be installed on your computer. This can be a chore that many people are too unwilling to take up.
But there is a better and easier way.
There are now VPNs that can perform the task of masking IP address simply by getting installed on the internet browser as an addon.
This enables you to activate it easily when you use it. And just as easily disable it when you are done.
I have found a VPN that can be installed on just the browser called Windscribe. And it’s free version is more than enough for the task on hand. Just search for it online.
Once you have installed it on your browser and activated it, it’s time to do the real job on hand.
Here are some places to exact your revenge.
Just sign up with the phone number of your targets and you are done. And don’t forget that you also have the names of the spammers as indicated in their SMS. Input them in the sign up forms as well so that callers will know who to address.
1) Gym memberships
One of the most hardcore telemarketers I have ever experienced come from salespeople promoting gym memberships.
They hook you up with a free trial. And then consistently blast you with offers.
This is without mentioning the aggressive sales tactics they use on you in person should you actually visit the place physically to redeem the free trial.
2) Hair loss boutiques
Another business type that offers free trials to collect phone numbers is hair loss therapy.
I was once on the receiving end of this and learned that it was a customer who input my phone number by mistake. I had never went to the shop at all and have no relation to the customer who input the number. But I can’t be sure if that particular customer input the wrong number by accident.
Maybe it was intentional. And I was just the unlucky fellow owning the random number that was input.
The point is that this “error” triggered a flurry of calls to me everyday. And with each call, a different salesperson was on the other end of the line. They were all urging me to sign up for their packages.
I had to fake my angry responses for about 3 calls for them to finally remove my number from their calling list.
Epic sales process.
3) Weight loss
With the mention of hair loss centres, weight loss management services also come to mind.
The sales process of these businesses are pretty similar. They offer free trials or initial sessions at a huge discount. Then hard sell you on their packages when you get there for redemption.
And to get you to try out the free trial, they will reach you using your phone number either by text or phone call.
Activate the VPN, go to one of their websites and sign up for the free trials with the contact number of your target.
You’re done. And you are being generous in awarding someone a free trial. Good for you.
I was also subject to some pretty questionable sales tactics when visiting spas.
It was a single session that was a redemption from reward points accumulated with the telco.
And right after the massage… when I was most relaxed and vulnerable… the sales talk began.
I heard that many people experience the sales tactics while lying naked on the massage table. Making them more vulnerable to be taken advantage of.
At the end of the sales talk which I flatly rejected all offers, I was asked if there were any friends who I could refer. And telling me that they can sign up for complimentary sessions on their website.
Yup, you can refer a friend to these aggressive sales-oriented businesses. Just get online, locate their websites, and refer a friend… agent.
These referral marketing tactics are practiced widely by many service based businesses including gyms, weight management, hair loss reversal, etc.
Make the most of them. And graciously send these free trials to the agents who have sent you information on the “new condominiums on sale at JUST $468k”.
5) Random contests
These days, wherever we go, there will always be road shows or booths conducting lucky draws or contests.
If you have ever taken part in any of them, how you luck?
My family members have never won anything from these things. NEVER.
I do know of some people who do win a prize or two time to time. But they are few and far between.
Next time when an insurance agent approaches you while you are on the evening transit, why not leave behind contact details instead of walking away and ignoring her like you always do?
You have the name, and know which number to provide.
Another place for example is the supermarket. There are always lucky draws for patrons to take part in. All they have to do is leave their names and contact number in a basic entry form.
Plug in those details and you are done. The number entered will now be sold to harvesters.
You might actually be doing a good deed by helping someone win the grand prize from a contest.
To tell you the truth, there are many other types of businesses that will use spammy sales techniques on every phone number they manage to harvest. But there isn’t a need to identify all of them here.
From the 5 that are listed above, there are already hundreds of operators for each of them.
Sharing is caring. Especially when you are giving away free stuff.
Share these free trials and refer-a-friend schemes with those real estate agents who are sending you spam to exact revenge… by giving them a taste of their own medicine.