Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

As we previously mentioned, it’s not just our computers that are under attack. Spammers are hitting cell phones, too. AGO Media Relations Manager Kristin Alexander relates her personal frustration with cell phone spam:

Last week, some jerk sent me a text message advertising a Web site where I can supposedly buy discounted software. Spam that clogs up my inbox annoys me but junk text messages really tick me off. That’s because I pay 15 cents each time I receive or send a text message.

I called my service provider and requested a credit on my bill. The customer service rep instead offered me several free messages. I agreed since I occasionally send text notes to my friends, but not often enough to buy a separate add-on plan. She also gave me some good advice: By logging on to my provider’s Web site and configuring my account settings, I could block unwanted messages sent to my phone. Options include messages from certain senders or that contain certain words.

It's illegal under the federal CAN-SPAM Act to send unwanted commercial e-mail messages to your wireless phone without your permission. (Exceptions include messages sent from your phone company or others you do business with.) This includes any message that includes an Internet address, like the one I received. You can also add your cell phone number to the national Do Not Call List.

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