Connecticut BBB Cautions Consumers with Cell Phones about Costly Text Messages

Cell phone users are receiving SMS (Short Message Service) texts offering services, and being billed when they try to opt out.
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Wallingford - Connecticut - US

Feb. 13, 2012 - PRLog -- If You Don’t Want them – Don’t Respond to Opt Out

You don’t have to have a smart phone to get scammed by unwanted marketing text messages.  Cell phone users are also receiving SMS (Short Message Service) texts offering services, and being billed when they try to opt out.

Here is an example:

From: 99716 TXTALTSNOW:You?ll receive Entertnmnt Alts.$9.99/mo billed to cell; 3 msg /wk. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel. Msg&Data rates may apply.

In this particular instance, the unauthorized charges were identified under different SMS addresses: 60822, 55033, 36713 and 99716.  All appeared to originate from a company named “Silicon Investments.”

A line item on the wireless statement was listed as:
Silicon Investments:Alerts-55033_Gosspitext_ALT-12/23…..$9.99

Recipients who respond in an effort to stop those messages are charged $9.99 on their wireless bill every time they try to opt out.  Cell phone carriers are aware of the problem, cancel the charges when alerted and block the incoming texts.

According to  and running SMS text address 99716 through the system, it appeared from consumer comments that:

•The SMS texts began in December and have continued into 2012.
•Many people are getting hit
•It’s happening to multiple carrier services
•Replying STOP is a waste of keystrokes; you still get charged
•Best way to combat it: Call your mobile service ASAP and dispute the charges.

Major wireless companies have a free service that allows customers to forward SCAM or SPAM texts to have the senders’ numbers blocked.

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Source:Howard Schwartz
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