Dumb and Dumber- the malady of the quotidian

Next week, all UK mobile numbers will be fair game for spammers, scammers and buggers – not a lot of people know that

July 10, 2009

. . .and that’s the problem. The Directory of Mobile Phone numbers goes live next week. All numbers, including those belonging to children, will be potentially open to cold calling and the general abuse that unscrupulous telesales people subject us to. Unless you particularly wish to be cold called, deluged with text offers and – if you’re a celebrity – bugged by News Corp, I suggest that you take urgent steps to opt out. You can, in theory, do so here:

When on the site, click “Home” then “Ex-directory” this will remove you from the directory.

Except you can’t today. When I tried this morning, the 118800 website, which boasts that it has amassed over 15 million mobile addresses from ‘opt-in’ customers, tells me this:

“Apologies. Our website is currently unavailable as we carry out essential maintenance. However it will be available again tomorrow and you will be able to use any security code you have received to complete your ex-directory request. Please do not call 118000 for ex directory requests as you will be asked to visit our website tomorrow. . Thanks for your patience.”

As far as I’m aware, no one agreed to this when we signed our mobile phone contracts. The information has been largely aggregated from marketing companies and commercial organisations who have sold their information to 118000. Everyone who has given their mobile number to an airline, credit card company, magazine subscription service, online mail order catalogue or who has simply subscribed to a mobile phone operator is potentially at risk from unsolicited calls (which may cost money to answer or reply to). Prepare to be deluged with scammers, spammers – and buggers.

And while I’m on the subject, at the risk of sounding paranoid, Thus Intelligence has noted that my site has been compromised recently. Could the idiots who are monitoring me please go away and do it somewhere else or at least do it more competently? It’s slowing down my computer to the degree that I can scarcely get a day’s work done exposing the world Illuminati conspiracy, let alone check my lotto results.

All hail discordia, John J Kelly