In a typical text spam, recipients are offered a gift card from a major retailer if they follow a link in the text and fill out a form with personal information. The FTC alleges in its complaint that the gift card offer was phony and the information collected was later sold for marketing purposes to third-party firms. Many of the recipients of the randomly chosen text messages did not have a texting plan on their mobile phones. Because of that, the spam incurred a cost for the recipient.
Charles A. Harwood, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said, “Today’s announcement says ‘game over’ to the major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts. The FTC is committed to rooting out this deception and stopping it. For consumers who find spam texts on their phones, delete them, immediately. The offers are, in a word, garbage.”