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Spam Texts: 4.5 Billion Messages a Year and Counting

Text message spam promising free iPads or cash rewards may be obnoxious and unwanted, but they also carry a greater danger: clicking on texts can install malware that collects personal data from your phone.

They’re also booming faster than any other sector of the tech industry. Spam text messages in the U.S. increased 45% in 2011 to an incredible 4.5 billion messages, Richi Jennings, an industry analyst and expert in spam, told Bloomberg.

Bloomberg highlighted the story of on 31-year-old Washington, D.C. woman who gave the spammers a taste of their own medicine by calling the sender 20 times. She didn’t receive fewer spam texts, but it felt good to retaliate, she said.

But replying to messages can add significant charges to your mobile bill. And it’s not as if the spammer will be affected. Often, spam texts are sent from prepaid mobile devices using an automated text program. For about $20 a month, spam texts can be sent to millions of people.

Both mobile carriers and customers end up paying for these spam messages. If you have a pay-per-text plan, you will end up footing the bill. And each complaining call to customer service will cost a carrier somewhere in the region of $5 to $50.

Meanwhile, Twitter and Facebook have both cracked down on spammers. In early April, Twitter filed a suit against five web tools that make it easier to spam people on Twitter. Late last year, Facebook began investigating reports of porn spam popping up in users’ news feeds.

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News 3 years ago

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