Text message scammers growing in popularity
Many cell phone users are familiar with the occasional text message from an unknown number that tells them they won a prize – and most do not click on the link. However, some mobile owners are not familiar with this and end up being the victim of a yet another technological scam.
Text message scams are on the rise
According to the Los Angeles Times, text message scams have been growing in popularity as of late. A new report issued by Ferris Research, which tracks mobile spam, found that American cell phone owners received 4.5 billion spam texts last year – more than double the number of spam in 2009.
This may be driving some a little crazy. The Federal Communications Commission reports that these unwanted calls and texts were in the top three consumer complaint categories in 2011, the media outlet reports.
How these scams can affect a person’s bill
There are a few different versions of these texts. However, the majority involves an unknown number texting a person saying the person won an iPad or vacation and it shows a link. In many cases, if the person does click on the link, they will be brought to a website that states if they fill out this survey they will get their prize, according to Naked Security.
Individuals cannot just reply “STOP” either, as a reply can signal it is an active number and make scammers or telemarketers continue to send messages.
How people can protect themselves from the scammers
The Times reports that it is currently against the law under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The Federal Trade Commission is battling with some of these text spammers in the courts. In addition, mobile carriers are setting up spam-fighting technology.
Until then, cell phone owners can make sure they are listed in the FTC’s Do Not Call list, which makes it against the law for telemarketer to call or text a person. Those who have contracts with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell can report a spam text to the carrier by simply copying the message and forwarding to 7726 (SPAM), and this is free of charge, the media outlet reports.
In addition, individuals can set up a cell phone tracking software, which will allow them to track the activity on their phone and account.