By Sarah Lai Stirland October 23, 2008 | 3:49:09 PM Categories: Election '08 | WIRED News
Voters in Ohio have begun receiving mysterious Amber Alert-style text messages urging them to dial a recorded announcement about Barack Obama, and to forward the spam to everyone they know.
"You will lose your freedoms this November 4th if you don't know" the "facts," the message warns.
Upon dialing the number — 641-715-3900, ext. 83682 — an anonymous announcer recites the McCain-Palin campaign's frequent assertion that Barack Obama "worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers," and that if elected, Obama would enact an "extreme leftist agenda." That's followed by an audio excerpt from a Fox News broadcast about Obama's connections to voter-registration nonprofit ACORN. (For more on both subjects and their veracity, check out Factcheck.org here and here.)
Some voters are steamed because they have to pay for the text messages that arrive on their cellphones, and there's no apparent way to remove oneself from the spammer's database. Neither the text message nor the recording identify the culprit. The phone number belongs to a voicemail company called SimpleVoiceBox that provides voicemail boxes to anyone who wants one. Dialing different extensions produces a wide range of recordings belonging to businesses and groups.
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