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December 19, 2007
RADIO: Cell Phones Under Attack – How to block text spam and viruses

OLYMPIA – According to one research firm, U.S. consumers together receive about 800 million unwanted text messages on their cell phones each year. Attorney General Rob McKenna says you can reduce the amount of text spam you receive by taking a few simple steps. He also warned that some text messages can carry viruses and spyware.

Actuality #1 (20 seconds):
Spammers aren’t just hitting your computer. Today, your wireless phone is also under siege. Junk text messages are annoying, costly and illegal. Fortunately, many mobile phone providers allow customers to block unwanted text messages, such as those sent by spammers. But consumers need to set up those filters before they’re protected.

Actuality #2 (23 seconds):
Smishing sounds a bit like “smooching” but to a cell phone user, it could be the kiss of death. Smishing is a term used to describe text messages that often contain links to Web sites where victims are prompted to enter personal information or download dangerous software. If you fall for this ploy, you could infect your PC or your smartphone. Always think before you click.

Actuality #3 (20 seconds): 
You may not be aware that your mobile phone comes with an email address. The default user name is usually your phone number. But you can change this by logging on to your provider’s Web site. Swap the phone number for another alias that spammers aren’t likely to guess but your friends will remember. And to reduce unwanted calls, add your cell number to the Do Not Call List.

More tips included in the full text version online at

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Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432

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