The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hitting out at individuals accused of running spam campaigns that advertise free product offers.
The commission said that it had agreed to a settlement with a man who is said to have sent out some 20 million such spam messages to mobile users.
According to the FTC, Henry Nolan Kelly was said to have sent deceptive messages advertising free iPhone and iPad units to recipients along with links to third-party sites. Users who followed those links were taken to sites and were then asked to subscribe to premium services or provide personal information, the FTC claims.
The settlement will block Kelly form carrying out any further spam campaigns or deceptive text marketing operations. A further cash penalty against Kelly was suspended.
The settlement is the latest in an ongoing effort by the FTC to crack down on spam marketing and misleading advertising campaigns. The Commission has long sought out cases against marketers who rely on unwanted or potentially fraudulent messages in order to advertise their businesses.
Recent spammer takedowns have resulted in settlements against individuals said to have been responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of unwanted messages to users.
Other cases include busts on 'cramming' operations that seek to sign mobile users up for premium services without their knowledge and complaints aimed at shutting down phony news sites designed to spread misleading information about diet products.
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