Firm ordered to pay $200,000 damages for sending SMS spam

Experts at Sophos are warning of the rising nuisance of spam sent to mobile phones as US network operator, Verizon Wireless, wins an injunction against a company which sent almost 100,000 SMS spam messages to its customers.

Verizon Wireless filed a suit against Specialized Programming and Marketing and its owner, Charles Henderson, who sent the spam messages offering a prize cruise in the Bahamas on behalf of Passport Holidays. In sending the unsolicited text messages to mobile phones, Henderson and his company violated the US Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and are required to pay damages in excess of USD 200,000.

Passport Holidays was required to pay USD 10,000 in damages to Verizon Wireless in a separate judgment last year.

“Misguided companies may be tempted to exploit modern technology in an attempt to get marketing messages in front of their potential audience, but spamming mobile phones is not acceptable,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “SMS text spam is a tiny problem compared to conventional email spam, but it is growing. Users should report SMS abuse to their phone network providers and think carefully before acting upon unsolicited text messages.”

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