The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking to shut down a text message spammer named Phillip A. Flora through a recently filed case in federal California District Court (Case No. 8:11-cv-00299-AG -JEM, Central District of California). The suit is perhaps a first for the FTC and seeks to permanently enjoin Flora from sending text messages and freeze his assets. Flora is accused of sending more than 5.5 million unsolicited text messages over a 40-day period relating to mortgage modification service that was implied to have government ties, but did not. To send 5.5 million text messages, Flora would have to send about 85 text messages a minute for those 40 days. Flora also allegedly sent spam emails advertising his ability to send the text message spam.
The complaint accuses Flora of violating the FTC Act and the CAN-SPAM Act. The FTC cited the charges mobile phone users might face because of an unwanted text message, the absence of an “opt-out” option in the emails and failure to provide a valid post office address in the emails. Flora has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
The FTC acknowledged the “invaluable assistance” it received from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and CTIA – The Wireless Association in bringing the case.
More information is available here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/02/loan.shtm; and here: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/legal-privacy/9188.html