Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Mobile Tech
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
FTC Cracks Down on Text Spam Offering
FTC Cracks Down on Text Spam Offering 'Free' Gift Cards

By Jennifer LeClaire
March 8, 2013 1:45PM

    Bookmark and Share
"Today's announcement says 'game over' to the major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts," said Charles A. Harwood of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "The FTC is committed to rooting out this deception and stopping it. For consumers who find spam texts on their phones, delete them immediately. The offers are, in a word, garbage."
 



The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on affiliate marketers that allegedly bombarded consumers with hundreds of millions of unwanted spam text messages in an effort to steer them toward deceptive Web sites falsely promising "free" gift cards.

The FTC charged 29 defendants in eight individual complaints with collectively sending more than 180 million unwanted text messages to consumers, many of whom had to pay for receiving the texts.

The messages promised consumers free gifts or prizes, including gift cards worth $1,000 to major retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target. Consumers who clicked on the links in the messages found themselves caught in a confusing and elaborate process that required them to provide sensitive personal information, apply for credit or pay to subscribe to services to get the supposedly "free" cards.

FTC: Game Over

"Today's announcement says 'game over' to the major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts," said Charles A. Harwood, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "The FTC is committed to rooting out this deception and stopping it. For consumers who find spam texts on their phones, delete them immediately. The offers are, in a word, garbage."

The FTC complaints targeted defendants who sent the unwanted text messages, as well as those who operated the deceptive Web sites. The FTC is also pursuing a contempt action against a serial text message spammer, Phil Flora, who was barred in 2011 from sending spam text messages and who is accused of being part of this spam texting scheme as well.

The FTC's complaints seek restraining orders against the defendants, preventing them from continuing their alleged deceptive and unfair practices as well as preserving and accounting for their assets.

Difficult To Stop

Brad Shimmin, an analyst at Current Analysis, told us he was glad the FTC was willing to move aggressively to limit the amount of noise consumers received through these communications channels.

"All of it is annoying but some of it can be dangerous, especially for demographics that can be perceived as easy prey for scams," Shimmin said. "I applaud the FTC, but looking at our past history in trying to crack down on this type of nefarious behavior it seems that globally it's a lot easier for criminals to move operations to places where they are no longer subjected to the laws that bring them to justice. I don't know how effective it's going to be over the long run."

The FTC alleged that the operators of these sites violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by failing to tell consumers about all the conditions attached to the "free" gift, including the possibility that consumers would actually be required to spend money to receive the gift.

According to the FTC, the defendants who sent the text messages were paid by the operators of the "free" gift Web sites based on how many consumers eventually entered their information. The operators of the Web sites were in turn paid by those businesses who gained customers or subscribers through the "offer" process.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
2.   Review: Amazon's New Fire Phone
3.   Apple Smart Watch Patent Surfaces
4.   iPhone 6: Bad for Apple Tablet Sales?
5.   GoTenna: Work-Thru for Dead Zones


advertisement
Android SMS Worm on the Loose
Malware lets bad actors cash in.
Average Rating:
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
It coulda been a contender -- but isn't.
Average Rating:
Review: Amazon's New Fire Phone
New ways to navigate, discover, shop.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.