As I wrote yesterday, spam text messages are becoming increasingly prevalent with many presenting privacy and fraud dangers.  In today’s (Sunday, April 8th), New York Times, Nicole Perlroth writes about this very issue (see front section, page 1).  She talks about the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) first mobile spam case that it tried in February 2011 against an individual who sent more than 5 million text messages over a 40-day period.  He was charged with using his spam texts to use up the text message limits of the people getting the spam text messages (thus costing them money).  Anyone who confirmed their mobile number, by replying to this spam text message, then had their number sold by this person to marketers.  He settled the case.

Ms. Perlroth reiterates a privacy problem I’ve noted before — she writes that these text spams try to get people to reveal their personal information and are like the email frauds known as “phishing”.  But now the mobile scam messages are known as “smishing.”  She cites 2 recent spam message scams ins which the messages said recipients could make quick cash if they provided certain personal and financial information about themselves — information that could be used to then gain access to their bank accounts.  The other scam she highlights has to be with a gift card scam — people were asked to take a survey and provide the kind of personal information that’s a treasure trove for criminals.

Just more reasons to take the kind of pro-active steps outlined in the New York Times article I highlighted yesterday.

Ms. Perlroth’s article was published online yesterday (April 7th) at:  Her article is titled: “Spam Invades A Last Refuge, the Cellphone.”