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FTC Investigating Spam Texts
Tens of millions of text messages these days are actually bait in disguise, tempting offers sent with one purpose, to gain access to your personal information.
At first, it sounds like your lucky day, but it's not. You're the target of spammers offering gift cards from big name retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy. Charles Harwood, with the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection says. "It's intriguing. It's puzzling. It's tempting, and they end up wanting to click on it."
But if you do, it can lead to credit application forms or offers for free trials, all requiring you to enter your personal information. According to a study by Cloudmark, 60 percent of consumers said they had received a spam text message in the last year. So what should you do if you receive one? You can forward the text to your carrier by texting 7726, the numeric code for spam.
FTC Investigator Steve Wernikoff says, "The telephone companies have some methods to attempt to block spam text messages, but you need to know the number you want to block, and the problem with these scams is that the numbers change so regularly."
But what if the lure of a thousand dollars, is worth a little of your personal information? Charles Harwood says that none of the FTC investigators who went through the entire process received a gift card. The FTC is now asking the courts to put a stop to it, and they want the companies responsible to reimburse consumers who might have lost money on these spam offers.
By Hunter Ellis