The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is kicking off a campaign to shut down the operators of SMS message spam rackets.
The Commission said that it would be charging some 29 people who were collectively responsible for sending users some 180 million unsolicited and unwanted text messages.
According to the FTC, the defendants sent users messages advertising discount offers and gift cards for a number of retailers. When users followed the links in the spam messages, they were sent to sites which attempted to collect personal information and apply for credit cards in order to claim the offered items.
Among those being charged is Phil Flora, a man whom the FTC describes as a "serial spammer." The Commission said that Flora is in violation of a 2011 settlement which barred him from sending spam text messages.
"Today's announcement says 'game over' to the major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts," said FTC consumer protection bureau director Charles Harwood.
"The FTC is committed to rooting out this deception and stopping it. For consumers who find spam texts on their phones, delete them, immediately."
Mobile devices have been increasingly targeted by fraudsters seeking to exploit the growth in mobile browsing.
While most mobile malware exploits premium services with auto-dialers and SMS-sending malware, researchers have found a growing subset of infections which attempt to collect personal information and log-in credentials.
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