News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
You are here: Home / Mobile Tech / FTC Cracks Down on Text Spammers
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
FTC Cracks Down on Text Spam Offering 'Free' Gift Cards
FTC Cracks Down on Text Spam Offering 'Free' Gift Cards
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
MARCH
08
2013



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:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Protect 100% of your Data The prevalence of laptops and mobile devices in the enterprise makes corporate data increasingly vulnerable to loss and breach. And yet, workforce productivity is now inextricably linked to mobility. Click here to access the white paper "Top 10 Endpoint Backup Mistakes" to learn more about how to confidently protect data across platforms and devices while also providing features designed to enhance the end user experience.
MORE IN MOBILE TECH
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Dairy Queen is known for its hot fries and sweet treats, but it just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Samsung Maps Its Way with Nokia's 'Here' App for Galaxy Phones
Korean electronics giant Samsung has opted to license Here, Nokia’s mapping app -- formerly known as Nokia Maps -- for its Tizen-powered smart devices and Samsung Gear S wearable.
 
Google Successfully Tests Its Own Delivery Drone
While top technology companies are engaged in an "arms race" to develop drones that can quickly deliver goods to anyone anywhere, Google has revealed it successfully tested its own version.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 

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.