There were ways around the charges, like sending the spam messages from the Internet rather than a mobile phone.
Text spam used to be rare in the United States because, compared with the email equivalent, sending texts was expensive.
The volume of text spam remains comparatively small, because those spammers who are just trying to sell a product—Cialis, say, or fake Rolexes—have largely stuck to email, which remains the cheaper option. The latest wave of text scams is a cut above your typical Nigerian bank fraud. S.-based e-crooks and semi-legal websites, these swindles use confusing privacy notices and fine-print consent forms to lend a veneer of plausibility to attempts to separate you from your personal and financial information.
Consider a text that invites you to “Test & keep unreleased i Phone5!
For a grim picture of the future, one has only to look to China, where unlimited text plans have been widely available much longer. wireless carriers didn’t look to China several years ago and start preparing for the deluge.
Blocking messages from the Internet is also unlikely to cut down on the volume of spam you receive.
Sending texts from the Web used to be a popular method for mobile spammers, who could try endless random combinations of numbers in hopes of a few hits.
Two years ago, I got a text message from a number with a Las Vegas area code. Spammers’ lists of numbers have been multiplying as they shift their focus from email to mobile phones to take advantage of cellphone companies’ weaker spam filters.
“Now, I’d say most people have been exposed to it themselves.” If you haven’t, you will be soon.