Receiving spam messages in your email inbox can be annoying by itself but for millions of phone users those same messages are jumping right into their daily lives, arriving in the form of billions of text messages each year. A recent study by industry analyst Richi Jennings has found that U.S. spam text messages rose by 45 percent in 2011 for a total of 4.5 billion messages sent.
While inbox spam has been busily taking over e-mail inboxes for decades, the jump to mobile devices has made it easier for advertisers/spammers to target users of all ages, including many children who now carry cellphones in place of a traditional landline phone.
In the meantime its not just consumers who are becoming annoyed by the spam, billions of text messages are costing wireless carriers money and causing fraud levels to increase.
The practice has become so common place that spammers have generated programs and websites that can mass text message thousands, even millions of numbers in a particular area code. In many cases prepaid phones with unlimited text messaging can then be used to send messages without being traced back to the original buyer.
In the meantime users can figure out which text messages are fraudulent by visiting SMSWatchDog.com which lists some of the most prevalent text spamming accounts.
The cost of spam based text messages are also a nuisance for carriers who can spend up to $50 in customer service and technology fees per spam text complaint received. As mobile device users call wireless carriers and file complaints they tie up phone lines which in turn means more “man hours” must be used.