Nov, 21 2013

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It’s the middle of the night. Your smartphone notifies you of a new text message. Half awake, you check your phone thinking it might be an emergency, only to find out you’ve just won an iPad. Not Cool.

It’s the end of an era. In a new anti-spam initiative, 3 of the top 4 major US carriers — AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile — have agreed to finally put an end to text message spam once and for all. Backed by attorney generals in 45 states with US, Attorney General of Vermont leading the charge, AG William Sorrell said in a statement:

“We are pleased that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have decided to stop the flow of money from the pockets of ordinary people to the bank accounts of scam artists. We’re hopeful the other carriers will soon follow their lead.”

AT&T and T-Mobile were the first to actually confirm the termination of costly “premium SMS” services, with Sprint more than likely still drafting up the press release. Completely absent from the list (why are we not surprised?) is Verizon Wireless, whom, we’re sure after all the good press rival carriers have been receiving, will eventually follow suit.

Looking back, we can’t think of a single honest “premium” text message we’ve ever received. While we don’t have official data, we’d say somewhere around 99.9% of SMS messages asking people to sign up for premium content is nothing more than phishing or malware scams. It’s taken awhile, but we’re glad at the prospect of finally ridding the world of SMS spam once and for all.

[Office of the Vermont Attorney General | via The Verge]

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