(Getty)
(Getty)

  • Mobile association WASPA has launched a new tool to track down some senders of unwanted SMSes.
  • All you need is an internet connection and the number you received it from.
  • Only the details of registered companies will be provided, though.
  • The feature is in addition to an existing Do Not Contact service designed to stop spam from formal operators. 
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has launched a new feature to identify the owner of a short code, long code or USSD code – and so track down the sender of unsolicited commercial messages.

The new Codes Projects serves as an extension of the regulator's Do Not Contact (DNC) initiative, where you can register your details to stop legitimate operators from sending you marketing SMSes.

WASPA’s new platform identifies numbers registered with it.

“If the company that sent the SMS is registered with WASPA, their contact details will be provided, allowing the consumer to contact them directly to obtain more information on the originator of the message,” said Managing Executive at WASPA Ilonka Badenhorst.

Although the general public does not need to register with WASPA to use the new service, businesses and mobile network providers are encouraged to do so.

To check who the owner of a short code, long code or USSD code is, users need to visit the WASPA Codes Platform.

Here's what we found when we tried it out

We received a text message in which the sender is selling a R20,000 funeral cover on behalf of 'ANC'. 

Search results for unclaimed number
Search results for unclaimed number

After entering the long code on the codes platform, the number turned out to be unclaimed. 

We did the same with an SMS promoting Shoprite sales.

Confirmed number
Confirmed number

After entering the long code, the details revealed that the number belongs to a customer relations company called Infobip Africa.  

You can also lodge a query about a specific number.


How to query a code
How to query a code

If customers suspect fraudulent or questionable activity from a number, they have the option to send a query on the platform for assistance. These codes will be investigated and reported to the relevant service provider.

According to Badenhorst, customers have the right to “request to be removed from the database or to lodge a complaint” with WASPA.

Registered members of WASPA’s direct SMS marketing campaigns are strongly encouraged to check WASPA’s DNC list on a weekly basis to avoid sending advertising SMSes to parties that are not interested.

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