Current Status

This blog is not frequently updated because most case-by-case scam reports are now listed in subordinate blogs. At this point in time, most of my efforts are targeted at documenting employment scams in the Suckers Wanted blog.

2006-10-12

Phone Scam: Perfect Soul Mate

This is the same kind of premium-rate SMS scam I documented a couple of months ago under the title of "Your 1 True Love". It seems like a harmless bit of fun, but you're actually signing up for a truckload of useless-but-outrageously-expensive SMS messages. The sting can be found in their terms and conditions, which I quote here in full for reference.

Introduction

Your access to this service is conditional upon your acceptance of all terms of use laid out herein. You must read the following terms and conditions carefully before taking advantage of any services offered on this service. You may view all or parts of this service using an Internet web browser or mobile phone only if you agree not to reproduce, transmit (broadcast) or adapt any part of the content of this service without the permission from FunSpring.

Delivery

All SMS services provided by FunSpring are charged on a per-SMS basis irrespective of: • the message reaching the recipient. The message may not reach the recipient if his/her phone is switched off, out of range or not compatible with the content of the message. In this case, the message will attempt to be delivered for seven days • situations where a service is being denied to the user due to user's incorrect procedure and/or user ban and with the exception of where a requested product was not available.

Partnership

By signing up with or accessing any of FunSpring services, you form a partnership with FunSpring whereby you give permission to accept any type of promotional or otherwise content from FunSpring and third parties affiliated with FunSpring at any time. This includes material sent via SMS, E-Mail or any other means of communication utilized by FunSpring and any of its affiliates.

The Site and HOROSCOPE Service

By clicking the "ENTER" button you will be sent a free soul mate prediction and will start a subscription to the HOROSCOPE service. You will be sent up to 15 horoscopes each month priced at $5/sms. You may stop this subscription service at any time by sending a text message with STOP, to short code 19999008. Your phone must be Internet-enabled and have text messaging capability. You must be the owner of this device and either be at least sixteen years older or have the permission of your parent or guardian. Standard text messaging rates apply. For support please contact 1300767306 during business hours.

In particular here, I draw your attention to the last two paragraphs. One states that you are liable to receive 15 horoscopes per month at a rate of $5 per horoscope (i.e. they have the right to drain your phone account at a rate of $75 per month), and the other states that they can share your phone number or email address with whomsoever they please for whatever reason they please (presumably to advertise crap at you).

The domain name in question is "perfectsoulmate.net" which is registered through a privacy proxy service for obvious reasons. It came to my attention through a Google ad, as it did last time, rather than spam. Advertisers pay per click on their ads: you should make your own decision as to whether you want to click through any such ad you find, but I strongly advise against giving them any personal information if you do visit their site.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you tried it? Did you get the name and adress of your true soul mate, regardless of the $5 each sms that would have followed?

Spotter said...

They aren't promising the address: just a name prediction. I predict that the name of your perfect soulmate is "Drew". I could be wrong. Also, that could be Drew Barrymore, or Drew Carey. You can have that prediction free of charge.

Slet Varthash said...

Spotter is exactly right; this thing is a load of crap. Still, I betcha there are a bunch of idiots out there all signing up for it. Wait until they get their telephone bill ! Ha ha ha !

Another response to "anonymous" might be: "I don't have to try a shit sandwich to know I don't like shit !".

Anonymous said...

The same scam (with a slightly spruced up website) is currently running at www.thelovercalculator.com.

Anonymous said...

The thing is still running but now it seems to be targeted more toward teens, since I see it on Myspace everyday. Now you play some stupid flash game that appears in an ad somewhere on your screen telling you to win the game to get the name, and then after you "win" it takes you to that site.


Seems they figured out that (most)adults will more than likely read the fine print and teens won't..


Such a shame, what a bunch of crap.

consumer complaints said...

YOu can also report your cell phone bill issue here:

http://classactionconnect.com/cell_phone_issues/2008/03/06/lovesoulmate-my-1-pure-love-perfectlover-crushcalculator/

Mobile Messenger said...

We at Mobile Messenger would like to assist you with your concern or complaint. If you need assistance in regards to being unsubscribed or other related issues, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please call 1-800-416-6129, to speak to a live operator, Monday to Friday 0600 – 1800 US Pacific Time or email escalationsus@sms-helpdesk.com