Cell phone text message SPAM scam- SJA Web Access Plus

Beware of SPAM texts on your cell phone.  Companies have agreements with the major mobile carriers for “Premium Text Messages”.  These companies can send you a text message and unless you opt-out of it, a “service” charge could added to your phone bill!  If you receive a text like this, respond to the text with “Stop”.  Wait a day or so and then call your mobile carrier to see if you have any charges added. 


This whole story started with two annoying, but somewhat benign looking SPAM text messages that I received on my iPhone.

TextSPAM.jpgThe two bubbles on the left are the the two text messages that I received from SJA.  Here’s the text for those who can’t see the image.

First Message
272 is the password —- Web Access plus SMS Queries, Send-to-Phone SMS Features, 866 559 1313 9.99 mthly and Other Value Adds.

Second Message
SJA Web Access Plus SMS Queries- Call Us Anytime 866 559 1313 9.99 mthly help, stop, info, Unlimted SMS Queries.

Just the fact that I received SPAM text messages on my iPhone is really bothersome to me.  But unlike email SPAM, I’m actually PAYING for this as it counts toward the 200 text messages that I get with my plan.  So, I decided to a little research into who’s sending this and how they’re able to do this.

It turns out that this is
a problem that’s bigger than just getting annoying text SPAM.  The SPAM text message is just a first step in placing a service charge on your phone.  Companies are able to send you a “Premium Text Message” that somehow establishes a “service” with you that you can be billed for.

This has been going on for a while and I found an article on Skydeck.com, titled TEXT MESSAGE FRAUD: PART 1 OF 2

At Skydeck we believe that anyone should be able to send a
text message to anyone else, but premium services should require
‘double opt-in’ before charging. I spoke with Sprint about the issue.
While the conversation went well and ended with the service rep filing
a fraud report against SJA Mobile, one of the first explanations I was
given surprised me because it implied that their partners can bill for
services on an opt-out basis: “SMS businesses under contract with
Sprint can send text messages to Sprint’s customers, and begin charging
them if the recipients don’t ‘opt-out’ of their service”. The only
SMS I ever received from SJA’s short code (23907) contained the
following message: ” … “. Seriously, that’s it. I was supposed to
recognize that “…” meant I was now enrolling in a $4.99 per month
service, and had to opt-out?

Lots of information on this site about SJA.

After reading this, I called AT&T to complain about this and they told me that all I had to do was to respond to the text message with “stop” and that I wouldn’t get billed for it.  I did that and I received the following text as a response.

Text Message:
No further text messages will be sent.  Not satisfied?  Email support@game-cheats-master.com 


SPAMText2.jpgSo, I have to pro-actively respond to SPAM to not get billed?  This makes absolutely no sense to me.  Why do I have opt-out of something that I didn’t sign up for?  I don’t respond to SPAM email or faxes, why do I have to respond to SPAM text messages?

Today, I decided that I would call AT&T to complain about the fact that I have to pro-actively opt-out of something that I shouldn’t have to deal with.  Plus, I lost 4 text messages dealing with this which represents 2% of my monthly total.  When I talked to customer service this morning, they told me that in fact that I had been charged the $9.99+tax for a service by SJA on my account!  The customer service rep had it removed from account and credited me with 4 text messages, but I was still steamed so I was escalated to her manager.

The manager told me that AT&T had agreements with companies for “Premium Text Messages” and that I must have signed up for something, which is I definitely did not do.  I asked to file a complaint with them about this billing and he said that he would escalate this and then get back to me.  I don’t know if this will happen or not.

This needs to stop.  The mobile phone companies should not be allowed to place charges on your bill based on a text message that is sent to your phone.  I am sure that there are plenty of people out there who are paying these charges without realizing what has happened.

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  • Reply ejariv February 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    ALL THE CEL COMPANIES ARE PROFITING FROM THIS CROOKS (SJA Etc) SCAMMING PEOPLE THRU THEIR CELL SERVICES. Unless the federal government does something about it we are in their hands. Twice I was charged 9.99 on my Sprint bill, Sprint claimed they can do nothing about it, simple as that. Of course I know this scam companies pay a “premium fee” to cell companies for billing their services thru them. So the end rsult is that the cell companies by not doing anything to protect their clients (as in my case) are part of the scam too. The end result is a “pseudo” scam service from Sprint (in this case) and the cell companies covering their trails with technicalities. God Bless America!

  • Reply RichieRich February 25, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    This same ish just happened to me with T-Mo. Received a very vague and unsolicited text. Puzzled but not really concerned, I brush it off. 65 min later, another text from the same source. Goggled the text verbatim, and walah! I find myself here. Followed your “instructions”: respond “stop”, receive a confirmation of termination of communication (SJA, no less) I call T-Mo…whadayaknow…a $9.99 charge from these dirt bags. Talk about consumer fraud.

  • Reply vassie March 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I have cell service with verizon wirless and for the last 2 months I have been charged 9.99 under Data.
    I called verizon and they explaned that the charge is for premium tex messages from #91097. Yes they said do the stop thing but
    I am outraged that I have to pay unsoliceted messages, it is a scam and I am calling my Veermont congressman about this scam.
    I will not pay the 9.99 for the last 2 months and see what verizon will do.

  • Reply MT March 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I thinking talking to your congressman is a good idea. The more people who complain to our legislators, the sooner we can have this scam stopped.

  • Reply steve roberts March 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    this is bullshit it needs to stop

  • Reply Anonymous March 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    We had the same problem with Sprint. But when we called them, they told us it was our fault and due to TEXTING GOOGLE– they never said anything about having an arrangement for “premium texting.” They also refused to refund our money. We’re on our 3rd manager to get it resolved and are leaving Sprint since they were lied about the charge and were unwilling to help us.

  • Reply marney March 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

    The same thing is happening to my elderly father. The provider is US Cellular. They (#91097) have been sending him text messages for a couple of months now. We’re waiting to see if we’ve gotten it stopped. The charge showed up on the bill under Data as “Reveal Your Lover” at $9.99 plus tax for a total of $11.37/monthly. Through all my research on the web I have found the initial company to be SendMeMobile.com or SendMe Inc. out of Calif. I cancelled with them thru email, phone & texting ‘STOP’. The first 2 did not work. We’ll see about the last. I filed a complaint w/ the company. I have also filed a complaint ON this company with the BBB (they have already recv’d MANY complaints). I will file a complaint w/ the carrier. I believe they are ALL responsible. The next step is to contact my congressman AND to send an email out to everyone in my address book about this scam. This IS BULL!

  • Reply Sheryl March 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

    You are absolutely right. I just received a text message on my iPhone from a number 724-49, it said “Ur pin: 5026. Enter this on the web. Txt HELP 4help 800-235-7105 9.99/mth Other charges may apply. Stop to send.
    I have never entered my phone number on any website and would never. Yet like you I sent STOP right away, and called at&t only minutes after. I put a block on my account, but the simple fact is I should not have to opt out spam messages that I never subscribed to. It is very ridiculous. The email this text message provided also said for more information contact help@sms-helpdesk.com I will not contact it because just think what would happen to my email address with spam. This needs to stop, or people that are not so cautious or aware will be charged money to their accounts. It’s said that sometimes people enter your number into sites. But I do not know, I’ve had the same number since ’02 and I know everyone that has it. It’s all very fishy.

  • Reply Anonymous March 20, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I just wanted to get weather alerts and the next thing I know I;m hooked up to a system I know nothing about.I text ‘stop’ to opt out of anything that may come up. If something does, I am going to talk to a lawyer about a class action law suit with this company. I believe, after reading these comments,that others will join me.

  • Reply Sandman013772 March 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    The company is called “Mobile Messenger” and can be contacted at 1-800-235-7105 or http://grantonewish.com/.
    Contact them to ASk if you can get it off your bill or contact the Attorney General at https://www.oag.state.tx.us/forms/cpd/form.php
    or you local state.

  • Reply Mobile Messenger April 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    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

  • Reply living May 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I am in the process of dealing with SJA Moblile. I was checking my bill and it said i had a subcription to Game Alert for 19.99 a month. I called sprint to find out what this charge was and they had the nerve to tell me that i signed of for these alerts via text message. And that the only why to begin receiving these message i would have had to accepted this service via text. I let her know that i did not subcribe to this sevice. She kept insisting that i did. Spirit gave me a 20% refund on the 19.99 charge. And said i was had to pay the bill because the company bills sprint and sprint pays the bill and then bills the customer. I was pissed. sprint customer service had canceled the service for me. So i get a text from this company stated my service has been canceled. I call the 800 number and low and behold i talking to someone in india. A third party company that was outsourced to handled the cancelation & activation of their services. I called sprint to ask for the phone number to this comapany. they give me another 800 number for a nother third party company which is outsourced in india for the same service. I called sprint again this time they gave me the name of the company. Sprint is part of the scam. I guess i will start my requesting my refund for the scam service. But something has to be done about this. what can we do to stop companys like this from scamming the very people it profits from.

  • Reply MOBILE MESSENGER May 20, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    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 1-866-390-6184 Monday to Friday 0600 – 1800 US Pacific Time or email blog@sms-helpdesk.com

  • Reply Les Morrison May 25, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Of course there WILL be a charge of $9.99 to speak with us…

  • Reply Les Morrison May 25, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Of course there WILL be a charge of $9.99 to speak with us…

  • Reply MT May 25, 2009 at 10:11 am

    That’s pretty funny.

  • Reply Jennifer Pedley June 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I too got scammed for three months of charges of $9.99 for some “horiscope” service. I called the 800 number listed above and some nice man named “John” (yeah, right!) took my name, address and number and claimed that they would be sending me a refund check for $29.97.
    Do you think I’ll ever see it? I’ll keep you posted!

  • Reply Joe July 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Ijust spoke with Alltel, they would only take off the last month’s charge of $9.99. Now I plan to ensure that as many people as possible understand that Alltel (and other wireless companies) is engaged in such a shady practice. Here is the e-mail I sent to Alltel and will be sending to my friends and family very soon. You can send a message to: alltel@custhelp.com
    to send your message of disgust. Send this message to every Alltel customer you know.
    I have been the victim of a text message scam on behalf of Alltel and Mobile Messenger company. It is well explained at the link below. Basically, the company sends you an unsolicited text message. If you don’t reply with the magic word “stop” you are opted in and will get charged $9.99 every month until you figure it out. Wireless carriers, in my case Alltel, are in on the scam because they get paid for working with the company. I am disgusted. I plan to tell everyone I know about this scam and Alltel’s complicity with it unless it gets disconnected and I get compensated for ALL charges.
    I expcect an Alltel rep with the authority to help me to call me.

  • Reply MOBILE MESSENGER November 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    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 1-866-390-6184 Monday to Friday 0600 – 1800 US Pacific Time or email blog@sms-helpdesk.com

  • Reply Steve November 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I just got scammed for $37.50 for trivia text msgs that were sent to me over the Rogers network in Toronto, Canada.
    I had no idea why someone was sending me trivia facts I cared nothing about and had no idea how to make them stop.
    Each msg was $1. I could have been charged much worse than this, and it scares me that I wasn’t informed by my phone company about this scam. I didn’t opt to get these msgs and had no option.

  • Reply yypeng December 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Verizon is doing the same. I just found out I have three subscriptions of premium text message starting from last month.
    Two of them are gambling, the last one is celebrity trivia. These text messages were sent to my wife’s cellular phone. My wife just deleted them without knowing that these “companies” are going to charge us.
    The Verizon agent told me that most likely one of my family replied yes in phone to accept these scam service.
    I printed out all the detailed contact history of all my phones and proved that this agent’s hypothesis was absolutely wrong. No one in my family ever answered calls from these two companies.
    Again, called verizon, they promised to reimburse the money back next month.
    I am thinking seriously to report this scam to FCC.

  • Reply Michael Krisko May 13, 2010 at 2:28 am

    This is a letter I sent to Virgin Mobile on the subject of premium text messaging.
    Fraudulent Billing Practices, Premium Texting by Virgin Mobile:
    I am being billed for unsolitcited premium text messages:
    1.) virgin knows about the scam and has known for a long time, yet they continue with it. They say they do not have a phone number associated with the text yet they forward money to the scammers after taking their cut,
    2.) virgin has contracted with me to provide call display, yet does not do so with the scam message. They are complicit in the fraud.
    3.) I have never replied back to any of the scam fraud messages, yet virgin bills for these messages.
    4. )this is negative billing which is not lawful.
    5.) I will not pay for any of the text messages.
    6.) Virgin says to text back and say “stop”. No way, even if there was a way to do it, which there isn’t.
    7.) Tomorrow, I will lay a complaint alleging fraud with the RCMP or local police.
    8.) I want the billing charges reversed. No money will be paid on past or future texting charges, nor will I text with a request to ‘Stop’.
    9.) I believe Virgin is actively taking part in this fraud, and know or should have known how it is orchestrated, they are clearly helping the scammers, if not doing it themselves.
    10.) You might be making lots of money with this scam, but your good business name is going in the toilet. I can’t believe you are taking part in this scam/fraud!

  • Reply connie September 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    To my fellow scam recipients: I was charged $9.99 for two months for “movie trivia” which I never joined or asked for. I called my provider Verizon who of course could not help. I obtained the number of sendmemobile.com located in San Francisco. I spoke with a rep and adamantly proclaimed that I did not receive a pin number to activate “movie trivia”. This was done today (Sept. 17, 2020). The rep assures me I will get a refund of two months charges (19.98) by check within 3 weeks. This is a classic “buyer beware” scam. After reading the comments on this website from various other scam recipients, I too believe that Verizon, Virgin, AT&T,Sprint and all others mentioned are also in line for a class action law suit. Anyone know a good class action attorney to help unsuspecting consumers? I’ll be waiting to see if that refund comes in.

  • Reply Anonymous October 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    After a second phone call to Verizon, all our charges were reversed, including those in the up-coming bill. We simply said (now that we were appalled) that we know their position, we know Verizon is aware of this situation and that many customers are upset, and we want the charges reversed. We were going to ask for Customer Retention as a next step, but with two of us on speaker phone I think we were harder to dismiss.
    I had called the numbers they gave me previously and left a message. I certainly didn’t expect to get a call back, which I have not gotten. I decided Verizon should be giving us the reversal instead of trying for a refund because Verizon is the one who should feel the “pain.”
    ***If they don’t get paid by their customers, they won’t pay the third party***
    So… CALL your carrier and call again until they reverse the charges. They can, should, and will.

  • Reply Ur Gonna Be Sry U SMS'd Me :) October 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    i got the message as well. i didnt get charged anything, yet. what you all need to do is all start calling this number constantly 866-390-6184 and harass the crap out of them all day, scream profanity at them and call them the nastiest names you can think of. it wont accomplish much but it will make you feel good. i have their number on speed dial and whenever im bored YOU BET im going to call and harass them.

  • Reply susan April 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    This is pathetic! I notice the first date on these complaints is February 23, 2009 and I have just received one the spam messages on my brand new Virgin wireless phone which as we all know is operating through Sprint. I did the ‘stop’ thing and will be preserving the message that they sent back as “unsubscribed.” I have never revealed my phone number to anyone outside of family and friends. I had my reservations about dealing with any one associated with Sprint as everyone in my family had nothing but a horrible experience with the bum company and eventually ripped all of us off when all was said and done. The latest number they left on my phone is 877 707 1775 for anyone who wants to blow up their phone lines.

  • Reply Anonymous June 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    because of the bullshit spam text…..

  • Reply joey pollard June 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    i got scammed 24$ by a “reveal your lover” ad and now i cant find that ad to unsubscribe what do i do? i need to unsubscribe as soon as posible!

  • Reply Anonymous November 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    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 Monday to Friday 0600 – 1800 US Pacific Time or email blog@sms-helpdesk.com

  • Reply sosickandtiredofthebullshit June 28, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I too have been scammed by bum ass Text4Trivia. They charged me $9.99 for sum stupid trivia crap. I NEVER signed up for the stupidity but somehow T-Mobile figured it was okay to bill me for it. After arguing with T-Mobile, I then contacted Text4Trivia and wanted to strangle the rep on the other end for trying to insult my intelligence. I refuse to give them my name and address for the so called refund check because they will probably attempt another scam. Good luck everyone. Whatever you do, do not allow them to get away with this scam any longer! Fight your mobile carrier to have the charges reimbursed. Stand up and harass the HELL out of these scammers and be sure to let them know you are aware.

  • Reply MT June 29, 2012 at 10:53 am

    @sosickandtiredofthebullshit Thanks for posting. Most carriers can block these things from being added if you ask them to.

  • Reply youcan suethem December 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    You can sue any company that sends you an unsolicited text message and get up to $1,500 per violation. In just one text message, there could be multiple violations.
    To find out more by searching/reading about the TCPA, the telephone consumer protection act. It allows for private cause of action, meaning you can sue them very easy pro se, without an attorney and collect the penalties yourself usually without having to go to court.
    If you get enough of these spam messages, you may end up making a living off it for a while, or at least a nice part time business.

  • Reply CNN.com: AT&T will pay $105 million for unauthorized charges on customer bills | The Journey is the Reward October 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    […] wrote about this pretty extensively in 2009 after experiencing an unauthorized charge by a third party on my AT&T cellular bill. The improper billing started after a company sent me a text SPAM which led me to be billed […]

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