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New Member

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32 Messages

Monday, November 15th, 2021 6:15 AM

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410 Short Code Abuse

Lately I’ve had a huge increase in phishing texts.  They all come from 1-410-xxx-xxx numbers, which hide the actual spammer’s identity using an email-to-text gateway.  AT&T provides no way to block this number range, and some defend the need to support 410 codes, without explaining why the sender can't just use their email address or phone number.  My question is, who else besides scammers benefits from this 410 gateway?  Please be specific as to why hiding the sender's identity is a Good Thing.

This conversation has been merged. Please refer the main conversation:

Block the 1-410-100 messages

New Member

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32 Messages

1 year ago

On a different forum, @JefferMC states, "The number series you're talking about are made up by the gateway process as the messages arrive.  You cannot block them unless you're going to block that gateway as a whole.  Blocking the gateway as a whole throws the baby out with the bath water."  My question is, who exactly is this baby, who presumably benefits AT&T customers, but who must hide behind a 410 short code?

JefferMC

ACE - Expert

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30.9K Messages

1 year ago

Those messages are coming through an e-mail to text gateway.  This facility is used by thousands of legitimate senders as well as the irritating ones.

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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62K Messages

1 year ago

As I explained to you on that other thread, the originating email address did not use to be hidden. Something changed recently. Why do you think anyone thinks that’s a good thing? You are the only person complaining about the spam texts that seems to care. Everyone else just wants them to stop. Do you really think blocking them would be easier if the email address showed as the originator instead of a 1-410 number? There are many legitimate users of email to text. Many organizations rely on that capability to send notifications. Why you seem to think only spammers use it I don’t understand.

New Member

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32 Messages

1 year ago

@JefferMC : "This facility is used by thousands of legitimate senders"

@sandblaster : "There are many legitimate users of email to text."

Once again, I did not ask whether legit senders use the gateway.  We all agree, yes they do!  Once again neither of you explain why legit users need the gateway.  Why not be transparent and show the originator's email address?  How do we the recipients or they the senders benefit?  Maybe you think it's obvious, but this dumb coder (me) needs it to be explained.

@sandblaster : "Everyone else just wants them to stop" Huh? Everyone else?  Obviously I too want it to stop, that's why I want the sender's email address to not be hidden.  Showing the originator makes it easier to identify them.  I'm not the one defending the email-to-text gateway, you are.  WHY?  Why not shut the whole 410 short code system down?  Who benefits?  Get it?

New Member

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32 Messages

1 year ago

@sandblaster : "Do you really think blocking them would be easier if the email address showed as the originator instead of a 1-410 number?"  Yes.  Yes I do.  Because once the originator's email address is blocked, it stays blocked.  So to phish again, the spammers have to get themselves a new email address.  But using the email to text gateway, the spammer's same email address can be used over and over, always with a different 410 short code.

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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62K Messages

1 year ago

As I’ve explained to you numerous times, I don’t know why the sending email is now hidden. It didn’t used to be. Showing the originating email may make it easier to identify them but to what end? What are you going to do with that information? You can’t use that information to block them. Even if the email address gets blocked or even shut down, the spammers just use a different one. They will never run out of email addresses to use. You seem to be focusing on the wrong aspect of this issue. ATT does need a way to block the spam texts, no argument there. Whether or not the originating email is hidden or not is irrelevant, in my opinion. I don’t know why you keep saying I’m defending the email to text capability, it wouldn’t bother me if they shut it down. I’m just trying to explain it’s operation as I understand it. That’s not defended anything. You also said:

neither of you explain why legit users need the gateway

Sorry I don’t have a list of legitimate users or their specific reasons why they use it but just some of the posts I’ve seen on this forum when email to text doesn’t work suggest doctors offices, schools, businesses, fire departments and others use that capability. Do you really need someone to explain why those users would need or use that capability? You seriously can’t think of a reason? The most obvious reason is it’s free and a simple way to automate notification of a group.

JefferMC

ACE - Expert

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30.9K Messages

1 year ago

AT&T provides a feature where you can send an e-mail to a certain email address of the form aaaeeennnn @ txt.att.net (where aaaeeennnn is a AT&T wireless number).  That e-mail becomes a text message sent to that customer.  At this point, AT&T apparently makes up a number that begins with 1410 as the source of this message.

I have used this to send alerts when a server has a problem to notify the person responsible for that server that the server needed to be checked on.

Doctor's and Dentists offices uses this to send reminders to their patients.

I have used this when I didn't have my phone to send a text to my wife.

These are all perfectly valid use cases for the feature.

BTW, this is documented at https://www.att.com/support/article/wireless/KM1061254/

(edited)

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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62K Messages

1 year ago

Because once the originator's email address is blocked, it stays blocked.  So to phish again, the spammers have to get themselves a new email address.  But using the email to text gateway, the spammer's same email address can be used over and over, always with a different 410 short code.

I can’t prove it but when you forward a spam text to 7726 and reply with the 1-410 number, ATT does block the originating email address. Besides, I would be very surprised if the spammers don’t already regularly change their email address.

New Member

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32 Messages

1 year ago

@sandblaster : "I can’t prove it but when you forward a spam text to 7726 and reply with the 1-410 number, ATT does block the originating email address."  I would hope this is the case.

7726 seems to have a problem when the spammer's message ends in a url.  That, or there's some hidden character spammers have discovered that defeats 7726.  In any case, unless I delete the url at the end, 7726 does NOT respond with "Now, reply with the sender's phone number"!

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