Text Message Spam – An Expensive Problem

Anyone who uses email is familiar with email spam. Spam is unwanted (junk) mail. Recently, spammers have made the leap from email to phones. Now, spammers are not only focusing their attention on email users, they are also using text messaging as a way to spam cell phone subscribers.

Text messaging spam may come in the form of stock quote, short ad, etc. It cannot be a long message because text messages impose a limit on the amount of characters one can use. Although receiving a short junk message doesn’t really pose a threat to consumers, and may be an irritant that can be overlooked, text message spam creates a unique problem that does not occur with email spam – cost.

Although there are costs associated with gaining access to the internet and email accounts, users are not charged for the messages they receive. However, the case is different forλŒ€λŸ‰λ¬Έμž text messages. Once a subscriber uses up their phone minutes or allotted number of text messages, they are subject to additional fees for every phone call or text message after their limit.

In the US both sending and receiving text messages costs the subscriber money. Therefore, wireless users are not only receiving text messaging spam, they are paying out of pocket to do so. Since each text message costs the subscriber about 10 cents on average, this clearly poses a problem for cell phone subscribers. However, if cell phone spamming continues in its current vein, it may eventually pose a problem for cell phone providers, as paying for spam will certainly discourage subscribers from using their text messaging services.

Currently, U.S. wireless carries make billions of dollars in service fees from text messaging every year. If subscribers stop using the service, this would result in a major loss of revenue. The amount of text message spam dramatically increases every year. Therefore, if wireless carries do not find a way to control spam, it won’t only be the wallets of their subscribers that suffer the consequences.

The good news is that wireless carriers have already begun to take measures against spammers and minimize junk messages. They have begun to use filters as a means to screen out junk text messages. This is a process similar to the junk email filters that most email providers have put in place to benefit their users.

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