You are not alone! According to Ferris Research, a market research firm that tracks mobile spam American cellphone owners received 4.5 billion spam texts last year. In fact, the FCC reports that spam telemarketing calls and texts were consistently in the top three consumer complaint categories in 2011.
A text scam that is burning up cell phones across the country right now is the “You are a winner! Click on this Link” text. If you have received a text that says, “Your entry last month was WON! Got to TargetPrizes.com and enter code 4787 to claim your Free $1000 Target Gift Cart within 24 hours!” Do NOT click on the link! This is NOT a text from Target, you did not win a prize, you have received a dangerous spam text message. Another text with the same wording is claiming to be Best Buy, as well. If you attempt to claim their prizes, you will most likely be asked to divulge personal information that the spammer will sell to other spammers, worst case scenario, use to access your bank account.
And if you think replying “STOP or Remove Me” to the messages will make them stop, think again. Any reply to the message will only confirm that the spammer has hit on a working cellphone number. Unfortunately, if you do not have an unlimited texting plan on your cell phone you will be billed for these annoying spam texts, too.
Text spamming is illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and the FTC is pursuing some of the most egregious text spammers and many major mobile carriers are investing in spam-fighting technology.
If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint or Bell Mobility subscriber, you can report dangerous spam texts, like the one above to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
Regarding texts from reputable companies, not just spammers, they should have an opt-out option within the text. Also, you must have given them consent to text you. If you are receiving texts from a reputable company and they do not have an easy opt-out option or you did not give them consent they are in violation of the law and you may be owed compensation. “Under the FCC’s rules, texts messages may be sent to your mobile phone if you previously agreed to receive them. For texts that are commercial, your consent must be in writing (for example, in an email or letter)” http://www.fcc.gov/guides/spam-unwanted-text-messages-and-email
Federal rules require the following for commercial email sent to your mobile phone:
- Identification – The email must be clearly identified as a solicitation or advertisement for products or services;
- Opt-Out – The email must provide easily accessible, legitimate, and free ways for you to reject future messages from that sender;
- Return Address – The email must contain legitimate return email addresses, as well as the sender’s postal address.
I receive many calls every month regarding spam texts and am currently pursuing several companies that have violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). If you are receiving spam text messages in violation of the TCPA rules please give my office, The Law Office of Todd M. Friedman a call today at (877) 449-8898