I’ve recently received a few random text messages that looked like junk email, offering me exclusive deals or free giveaways. Apparently, I’m not the only one receiving these unsolicited text messages. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission recently announced a crackdown on senders of spam text messages and charged eight defendants with collectively sending over 180 million messages promising ‘free’ gift cards and prizes. That’s right. Millions of people are receiving these spam texts, too.
We hope that the FTC’s action will send a clear message to scammers and help protect wireless consumers like you and me. While the FTC and the wireless service providers continue their fight to eliminate junk and unwanted text messages, we here at MyWireless.org want to make sure you have all the information you need to identify and stop text message spam:
What is text message spam?
Spam text messages are unsolicited or unwanted commercial advertisements sent via SMS to large groups of cellphone users. These messages often try to trick you into divulging personal data such as your contact information or financial details.
What should I do if I receive text message spam?
When you receive text spam, forward the message to short code SPAM (7726) from your wireless device. This free reporting service is operated on behalf of the GSMA, a consortium of international phone providers. With your help, security companies and carriers can analyze the information and stop future spam messages.
What if I am charged for receiving text message spam?
If you think you have been charged for receiving text message spam, make sure you forward the message to 7726 as soon as possible and contact your wireless carrier. They can investigate the messages and help resolve any billing questions you have.
What about opt-in text messages?
If you signed up for text messages from a subscription service and you no longer wish to receive them, you can simply reply to the text message with ‘STOP’. This will unsubscribe you from the service.
What can I do to spread the word?
Let your family and friends know about text message spam, and please share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter. The more awareness we can generate about this deceitful marketing practice, the sooner we can pull the plug on text message spam.