Spam texts refer to any unsolicited and/or unwanted messages to your cell phone, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These messages count against your text plan.
Many spam texts announce that you’ve won something or that you qualify for an exclusive offer. The messages then entice you to collect your prize by going to a website or calling a number.
“Text message spam is a triple threat,” FTC says. “It often uses the promise of free gifts or product offers to get you to reveal personal information; it can lead to unwanted charges on your cell phone bill; and it can slow cell phone performance.”
To protect yourself from text message spam, the commission recommends taking the following steps:
- Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information: Legitimate companies will never ask for account numbers or passwords via text.
- Don’t reply or click on links provided in text messages from unknown users: Links can install malware on your device and take you to spoof websites whose purpose is to steal your information.
- Treat your personal information like cash: Your Social Security, credit card and bank numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. Don’t give them out in response to a text.
- Place your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- If your carrier is AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell, you can report spam texts by copying the original message and forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
- Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places restrictions on automated phone solicitations, imposing requirements that limit how and when a business can send text messages to reach customers. Any business that markets with automated phone calls or text messages must understand TCPA’s requirements, particularly relating to the prior express consent needed to make calls or send texts.
If you’ve been the victim of unsolicited messages to your mobile phone, you may be able to file a lawsuit with the help of a TCPA attorney. Consumers who have pursued legal action to stop text spamming have had widespread success in cases across the U.S.
Source: Consumer Affairs