Gillian Brockell got so fed up with unsolicited text messages on her mobile phone in early April that in a fit of frustration she called the sender back - 20 times.
"I don't even get that much junk mail in my Gmail account," said Brockell, a 31-year-old journalist who lives in Washington, D.C. "This is my phone. It seems more personal."
Turning the tables on the spammer felt satisfying, she said. Still, it hasn't stanched the flood.
The unwelcome messages that have been clogging e-mail inboxes for two decades have made the jump to handsets, as more people use smart phones in place of personal computers and texting becomes more popular with consumers of all ages. The number of U.S. spam text messages rose 45 percent last year to 4.5 billion messages, said Richi Jennings, an industry analyst. The surge is costing carriers money and frustrating users, who must pay for the messages and deal with the influx of potentially fraudulent texts.
Spammers can get phone numbers from the Internet, or use software or websites to randomly generate thousands or even millions of numbers in a particular area code. Often using prepaid phones that can't be traced back to the sender, they can then use auto-dialing technology to reach recipients.
"Bad actors will go to the biggest installed base worldwide," Greg Goldfarb, a managing director at Summit Partners, which manages more than $10 billion in assets, said in an interview. "The volume of abuse that comes to people around me has increased 50 times in the last 18 months."
News 1 year ago