facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

FTC goes after spam texts, 'free' offers

March 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators say they've targeted marketers sending millions of spam text messages trying to steer consumers to websites falsely promising "free" gift cards.

In complaints filed in courts around the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has charged 29 defendants 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 from major retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target.

Consumers who clicked on the links in the messages found themselves having to provide sensitive personal information, apply for credit or pay to subscribe to services to get the supposedly "free" cards, an FTC release said Thursday.

"Today's announcement says 'game over' to the major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts," Charles A. Harwood, Acting Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the release. "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 complaints filed by the FTC targeted both defendants who sent the unwanted text messages and those who operated the allegedly deceptive websites.

The defendants sent text messages to random phone numbers, including to consumers who do not have a text message subscription plan and thus had to pay to receive the message, the FTC said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Obama's plan calls for computer chip implants to help soldiers heal
2
Newfoundland fossil is earliest evidence of muscled animals
3
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
4
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
5
Wolf yawns are contagious
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback