FTC cracking down on spam text message senders

FTC cracking down on spam text message senders

Summary: The next target in the crosshairs of the FTC? Senders of spam text messages, beware.

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The Federal Trade Commission announced on Thursday that it plans to take a hard line against the senders of spam text messages, starting immediately.

Charles A. Harwood, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, quipped in prepared remarks that it's "game over" for the "major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts."

He also advised that any consumers who think they have received spam texts should delete them immediately, referring to these free offers as "garbage."

Specifically, the FTC is interested in cracking down on fake marketing ploys related to "free" gift cards.

The federal agency said that these cyber hoodlums have "allegedly bombarded consumers" with approximately 180 million unwanted spam text messages.

Most of these messages reportedly went to random phone numbers, including consumers who don't even have texting plans on their mobile subscriptions. The FTC cited that demographic accounts for approximately 12 percent of mobile users nationwide.

According to the FTC's statement, these messages teased consumers with the potential to win gift cards worth up to $1,000 from major retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Target.

Besides no real prize in sight, the bigger problem for consumers was that clicking on the offers opened them up to identity theft because the fake offers asked for sensitive personal data to pay for services that would lead to the "free" gift cards.

The FTC has actually already gotten the ball rolling by charging 29 defendants in eight different complaints in courts across the United States.

Topics: Legal, Government, Government US, Mobility, Security

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4 comments
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  • About time

    Hammer these fools. Its so annoying to see this crap texts show up.
    spikey289
    • Retired and unemployed people being taken advantage by spammers!

      I had a problem like this after posting an ad with my phone number on a well-known dating website.

      Also, from time-to-time, I am shown an ad, about a "Gift card" I somehow won, or a link to a website, typically from an unemployed friend that filled out an online survey. So there are a number of ways retired and unemployed people get taken advantage of, and because I work, I don't have additional time to spend "winning" a gift card.

      This is also why I think Facebook should be investigated. Everyone I know has given their phone number to Facebook to "reset" their password, but it's only a matter of time before Facebook starts using the phone numbers to send more ads to people.
      donald duck 313
  • u just won a free ipad

    go to freepad.tx.zr
    everss02
  • kraken down on Spam

    sorry it has taken so long they could get behind the unwanted faxes.
    bjohnnie@...