You’re feeling good about having cut down, or completely eliminated, the number of spam emails and telemarketing phone calls you’ve previously gotten.  You’ve put yourself on the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list; you have explicitly signed up only with those companies whose emails you want to receive; and you check the “opt out” box when you don’t want follow-up email messages.

So you figure all is set and no more spam messages, right?  Oh don’t we wish.  Now you’re being inundated with spam text messages on your mobile phone and other mobile devices.  These spam text messages often parade as legit messages but they often pose the same risk as the spam email.  You follow the links only to find that you’ve unintentionally signed up for magazine or other unwanted subscriptions — or worse, your phone’s now infected with malicious software.  Sometimes you only know you’ve got a problem when you start seeing subscriptions listed on your phone bill.

How can you stop this?  First, as with spam emails, it’s illegal for companies to send spam text messages without your explicit consent — that’s required under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Public Law108-187).  But, of course, criminals aren’t concerned with legal niceties.

Second, you can and should contact your mobile carrier.  Eric A. Taub published an excellent article in the  New York Times providing very helpful “how to do” steps to contact AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.  His article is titled “Eluding a Barrage of Spam Text Messages.”  It was posted on April 5th on the New York Times website at: under the “Technology” section.  It was also in the paper version of the New York Times on April 5th on page B9 under the same headline.

Read it, take down the information and then take steps to protect yourself from this latest version of spam scams.