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Spam Text Messages

Spam text messages account for 45 million texts a day, just in North America. Without a text messaging plan, spam texts cost around twenty cents apiece. Worse than this annoying charge, however, is the price tag for getting scammed by a text message. 70% of all mobile phone spam texts are set up to defraud people; this number comes from a study by Cloudmark, an anti-spam software company. To put this in perspective, only 10% of e-mail spam is circulated towards that purpose.Spam text messaging (also known as “smishing”) uses scare tactics (like urgent “account problems” at your bank) and wonderful offers (free gift cards, cheap prescription drugs, free mortgages, etc.), to get people to text the number back. Once you text back, it’s confirmation that they’ve got a live number, and you’ll get ten times as much spam. Whatever information you provide to a spam artist is going to be used to steal your identity, or sold to a third party who will spam you even harder.Some spam text messages try to get people to visit sketchy websites, that immediately install malware on the cell phone, gathering all the personal information stored there. Other scams urge people to call their bank and access stored financial information (to avert some looming disaster); they then can hack into this storage database and steal your information.Spam texts scams are on the rise; cellphone spam in 2012 is three times as high as it was in 2011. Mobile phone users are three times likelier than computer uses to reply to spam. E-mail spamming is decreasing, and a Cloudmark security employee attributes the difference to changing behaviors: “Because you always have your cellphone with you, answering it becomes more of an impulse reaction,” says security researcher Mary Landesman. Another reason cellphone texts scams are on the rise is their cheapness and ease; scam artists use difficult to trace (and cheap) prepaid phones for smishing. Once word spreads about the current con, they chuck the hot phones and buy new ones.There are a few easy ways to protect yourself from cell phone scams. First of all, don’t answer texts from numbers you don’t know, period. People who really want to get ahold of you will call and leave a message, or find some other way to contact you. Don’t text back “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts; this is another good way for a thief to confirm a live number. Do not call back numbers either, even to verify it’s a scam, or they’ll also know you’re a real number and spam you nonstop.You should Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) restricts telephone solicitations, the use of automated telephone equipment, and unsolicited advertisements, such as spam text messages. Specifically, the TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, prerecorded voice messages, unsolicited text messages (spam text messages), and junk faxes. We will aggressively enforce the law to stop unsolicited text message. Not only will we stop the text messages, but you may be entitled to money damages, too. Damages in TCPA cases range from $500.00 – $1,500.00 per text.

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