FTC again bans spam text-messaging operator

Email to a Friend

For the second time in 4 years, Federal Trade Commission ordered the operator of a fraudulent text-messaging operation to stop scamming consumers.

According to FTC, the defendant, Philip A. Flora, was responsible for sending at least 29 million text messages to consumers that promised free $1,000 Best Buy and Walmart gift cards, which the agency says is a violation of an August 2011 settlement order that banned Flora from sending unsolicited texts.

FTC says Flora again is banned from sending spam texts and must pay $148,309, which represents the amount of money that he gained in his latest scheme.

It’s unclear how Flora profited from his operation, but FTC says spam texts typically require consumers who click on a link in the text to provide personal information or to pay bogus shipping fees to obtain their “free” prize. Consumers’ personal information can be sold to other marketers as well.