Eluding a Barrage of Spam Texts
“Do you need up to $1,300 today?” I was recently asked. Except for perhaps Mark Zuckerberg, who doesn’t?
Unfortunately this question wasn’t asked by a friend; rather, it came to me in a spam text on my cellphone.
The offer was for a “payday loan,” a type of high-interest cash advance that many states have banned. And that wasn’t the only thing about the message that was questionable from a legal perspective.
Spam text messages, like spam emails, are illegal to send to consumers who haven’t actually asked for them. Under the federal Can-Spam Act, companies must follow certain guidelines when sending bulk commercial electronic messages, whether they’re emails or texts.
In January, CTIA, the wireless industry’s trade association, wrote to the Federal Communications Commission complaining about a recent onslaught of political spam texts, from both major parties. And following the links in some spam texts can ensnare you in scam subscriptions that show up on your phone bill, or even infect your phone with malicious software.
Spam text messages are easy for businesses and charlatans to generate. They’re not tapped out by individuals using mobile phones, but often come from computers, using programs that send out texts to every conceivable telephone number, automatically.
Easy instructions for the major carriers at the link.