back to article Fella gets 2.5 years in the clink for coughing up cell numbers in $50m junk text message scam

A bloke armed with a fistful of cellphone numbers has been sent down for 30 months for his role in a scam that fleeced folks out of $50m in bogus monthly charges. Christopher Goff was sentenced by a US federal district court in Manhattan after being found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He will also …

  1. Boo Radley

    Forfeit All Of It

    The others should also have to forfeit whatever they stole! But it should go back to the people they fleeced, not into government coffers, no matter how difficult that may be.

  2. doublelayer Silver badge

    Why was this guy even needed

    I get that this guy stole the numbers and everything that happened afterward makes sense, but why couldn't the company running the scam just find a lot of numbers anyway. Is it really that hard to look up lists of numbers, or even use a dialer to find some? Is a list really needed. Also, why don't we just get rid of premium-rate texts. I don't think we need them.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Why was this guy even needed

      Also, why don't we just get rid of premium-rate texts. I don't think we need them.

      Probably because somewhere, some company has a lobbyist who's convinced the FCC that "premium services" are needed.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Premium rate texts

        My carrier (AT&T) allowed me to "block third party billing" on my account.

        Problem solved. Even if I am "opted in" to premium rate texts, the carrier will refuse to act as a billing agent for the company sending them.

        I have no idea if this feature is available for all carriers (or even if it is still available from AT&T), but it seems a reasonable solution to the problem.

        I think it was required by law (at one time) in the US, that this option be available at no cost, but it was not advertised and I had to spend time with a customer service rep to get it added to my account.

        T-Mobile, at least, seems to offer it:

        https://www.t-mobile.com/company/privacy-resources/blocking/blocking-third-party-charges.html

        ...and so does AT&T:

        https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1009396

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Why was this guy even needed

      ...I don't think we need them....

      I don't think I need them.

      There. Fixed that for you....

  3. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    good to see that the bad guy goes to jail still, and they have removed the funds too, but as posted above, it would be better if ALL involved went to jail, and all funds returned to those stiffed. but until hell freezes over, I suppose we should be glad that sometimes someone pays ............

  4. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    what's a cell number?

    And why did he swallow them? Was some sort of prison break in the offing? Arrgh. Help!

  5. 89724102171719271992224I9405670349743096734346773478647852349863592355648544996313855148583659264921

    Monero...

    ...with $350,000 he could've lived happily ever anywhere without a extradition treaty.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Monero...

      Really? $350,000 wouldn't buy you a small one-bedroom flat in London, or, I'm guessing, any other major city around the world.

      You could happily live in a rural setting in the Third World on that sort of cash...

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Monero...

        You could happily live in a rural setting in the Third World on that sort of cash...

        As an outsider? I suspect many Westerners would struggle with the skills to fit in. Especially those coming with the attitude that a sum of Western money was going to support their lifestyle.

      2. Sheepykins

        Re: Monero...

        Third world doesnt denote poorer living conditions. It was the stance taken during the cold war.

        Technically, Switzerland is a third world country.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: Monero...

          @Sheepykins

          "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

          (Miles Kington)

          Put "Switzerland" and "third world" where you think they best fit.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Monero...

          "Third world doesnt denote poorer living conditions. It was the stance taken during the cold war."

          Perhaps it was. Now, the terms have been redefined:

          First world: Countries with high levels of economic activity and generally high living conditions.

          Second world: Term is no longer used.

          Third world: Countries with generally low levels of economic conditions. Sometimes also countries with low levels of political freedoms, although less often used this way. People never seem to put China in this group, for instance. Maybe they get to be in the second world?

          Fourth world: The same as third world, but used when someone wants to make a rhetorical point that these countries are even worse than "third world" ones.

          Definitions change.

  6. Cowboy Bob

    The Real WTF...

    ...is getting charged to *receive* texts. What the hell is that all about?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Real WTF...

      Welcome to the USA.

      We had a similar thing with the postal service, but we fixed that problem 180 years ago,

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: The Real WTF...

      One can see use cases for that: you subscribe to an information service you think has value. Anything from stock market or art market events to traffic news might have value to someone.

      And once you have the principle, people can add ever more useless things. Think of the utterly useless presents you've given or received that you'd never dream of buying for yourself, but that just serve life's dumb rituals like xmas.

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: The Real WTF...

      What the hell is that all about?

      Profit.

  7. low_resolution_foxxes

    I use EE/BT in the UK, when I set my account up I rang customer services and put a total block on all 3rd party 'premium' messages.

    If there ever has been a true "idiot tax", premium rate text messages are right up there.

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