What is going on with carrier supplied BlackBerry email addresses?

Thorsten Heins

Last week something strange and increasingly frustrating started happening to my BlackBerry.  For whatever reason my carrier supplied, BIS email account (@vzw.blackberry.net) started receiving spam. Lots of it, around a dozen messages a day. I haven’t downloaded any apps, I haven’t visited any naughty websites and I haven’t gave the email address out to anyone in years. In fact, the only people who have the address are close friends and my immediate family. I’ve kept it that way because I wanted the account to remain spam free and it has been for the last 5 or so years that I have used it. Until last week, when I unexpectedly began receiving email advertisements for prescription medications.

I did some searching for ways to stop the flood of spam and what I discovered was kind of shocking. On the exact same day I started getting the emails a whole bunch of other people began reporting the same thing. Everyone getting the same type of spam from the same senders.

I decided to ask my BlackBerry Messenger contacts if they were experiencing it also. Only 17 of my contacts use their carrier supplied email account. Out of those 17 all but 4 have started receiving the spam. Which proves that this isn’t isolated to any one particular carrier. I heard from BBM contacts on Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and Telus that have been affected.

There is no real way of telling just how many people are dealing with this, and there currently isn’t an explanation for it, but it seems fairly common based on the amount of people I’ve personally encountered with the issue. Some have speculated that RIM has sold their users email addresses to raise revenue or a RIM employee may have gave them out or RIM may have been hacked. All of those possible explanations are extremely far-fetched and not at all realistic, but I can’t help but wonder what has happened to cause it.

Whatever did cause it, there doesn’t seem to be an effective way to make it stop. You can log into your BIS account using a web browser. Once logged in there are filtering options available, but after trying several combinations I’m still getting the spam. Hopefully, RIM is aware of the situation and a solution will be made available soon.

Let us know in the comments if you are experiencing this also.