Spam Text Overview
As text messaging has become more affordable for recipients and more widespread as a form of communication, many companies have turned to text messaging to achieve their marketing goals.
However, this has also come with a slew of complaints from consumers all over the country who argue that they have been the recipient of a spam text message. A spam text message can be intrusive and even costly especially for those who claim that they never opted into receiving these text messages in the first place.
One of the most important things to remember about receiving a spam text is that it might be illegal. It is illegal for people to send unsolicited messages to wireless devices unless the sender has received the recipient’s permission first.
It is illegal for someone to send unsolicited text messages using a piece of equipment known as an auto dialer which very quickly stores and dials telephone numbers using a sequential or random generator. Non-commercial messages and transactional messages are excluded from the rules over spam text.
Some consumer advocates have argued that text messaging should be classified as a telecommunications service. Currently, according to Zipwhip.com, phone calls are classified by the FCC as a telecommunication service, which means that carriers have a limited ability to block automated robocalls and malicious phone calls, which explains why some robocalls are so persistent today.
Since texting has not been classified as a telecommunications service, many people are looking for options to block this behavior on their own. The government has received increasing complaints about the fact that texts can be treated differently than calls, even though the text messages might also be unwanted and frustrating.
Automated Monitoring Systems
In response to the growing numbers of people arguing that they have become the victim of spam text messages, automated monitoring systems have popped up to flag suspicious content and sending it first to an analysis team for potential fraud review.
In the event that any form of fraud or spam is identified, this automated monitoring services, that consumers can enroll in, can block texts before it comes to them.
One method for consumers who have received massive amounts of spam text messages or who are being annoyed by content sent by text they did not request is to reply in all capital letters STOP. A company should automatically discontinue their use of text messages when receiving a STOP response. However, some consumers allege that companies using an auto dialer might attempt to skirt this and land on the same recipient’s number again.
Rapidly changing technology has made it easier for companies to engage in SMS or text message spam. While it is still less common than email spam, Tech Target estimates that SMS spam accounts for around 1 percent of texts sent in the United States and many of these are illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act since 2004.
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