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FTC Goes After Scammers Who Blasted Millions of Text Messages 79

coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today said it has filed eight court cases to stop companies who have sent over 180 million illegal or deceptive text messages to all manner of mobile users in the past year. The messages — of which the FTC said it had received some 20,000 complaints in 2012 — promised consumers free gifts or prizes, including gift cards worth $1,000 to major retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target."
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FTC Goes After Scammers Who Blasted Millions of Text Messages

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  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Friday March 08, 2013 @02:36AM (#43113489)
    I think the FBI should crack down on people scamming in general.

    Look at free credit report, they bill your credit card even though they say it is free. They should be fined all their assets, shut down, and people who signed up with them refunded if that last part is possible.

    Robo calls make me not want to own a phone at all. I get a couple each week, and they distract me from day. Today one woke me up. Robo calls should be illegal, including political robo calls.

    There should be a way to disable text messages on phones. The phone company's dirty secret is that they over charge for text messages so they don't want to provide this service. Every time some spammer sends me scam bait, it costs me .10.

    Phishers, and all those email scams should be looked into by the FBI too.

    Look at the people who mail everyone who signs up for a webpage with a bill for their webpage making them think it comes from their webhost, but it is actually a scammer wanting money.

    I'm pretty sure it always wasn't this way, but today, it seems like a large portion of incoming communication is from someone who wants to scam you. I can understand not being able to shut down some threats out of the country, but a lot of these things come from inside the country.
  • The one that I find weird is the "Windows Technical Support" scam. 3 times now I've had this kind of phone call in which a live person assures me that they've detected that my computer is infected. The 1st time, I strung him along a bit to see where it was leading. They want you to download and run some software from a particular website, which of course really will infect your computer.

    The parts that amazed me were the sheer brazenness of the whole thing, and that evidently there's enough money to be made from infecting computers that it's worth paying call centers to have live people make thousands of attempts at this social engineering. They are so clearly, obviously criminal, yet they weren't shut down immediately. What of the much vaunted ability to track down copyright infringement, in order to empower 3 strikes laws? Are these operations really so hard to find and shut down? Must be, or Rachel from Cardholder Services would have been silenced years ago, though the criminality of that one wasn't as immediately obvious. I suppose it's to be expected that those who run call center operations have no scruples.

  • by Rhys ( 96510 ) on Friday March 08, 2013 @09:09AM (#43114683)

    Just like the did for lowering my credit card rates with Rachiel. Or the asshat foghorn cruise captain. Or how my vehicle warranty is expiring.

    This isn't a hard problem to solve. Mandate the phone companies build in a star-spam sequence you can fire during (or right after) a call to have that caller marked as spamming, just like gmail. Get so many complaints, phone company hands you over to FTC for investigation. Phone company doesn't hand them over and then when the FTC does get them, the fine is double (triple? 10x? Whatever factor needed to make it hurt) whatever the revenue from the scam was.

    Not rocket science. But as long as the phone companies profit from the scammers, you better believe this will continue to be a problem.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"