This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

This Type of Text Could Unknowingly Be Costing You Big Bucks

"Consumers were also told on these websites that they were going to receive a free $1,000 gift card for going to the sites, and that turned out not to be true," Wernikoff said. "We haven't seen an instance where a consumer actually received a free gift card."

The defendants also broke the law by spamming consumers' text messages to begin with. Sending unsolicited, commercial texts is generally banned by the FTC, as consumers typically either pay for each one received or have a monthly cap. This type of spam imposes a real cost on customers; even if it's only 10 cents per individual, by the time a company has sent out tens of millions, the numbers add up.

Unfortunately, while the FTC can shut down this type of illegal activity, it's much harder to make the victims whole.

"This is a tricky case as far as trying to get money back to the consumers," Wernikoff said, emphasizing that the widespread but often minor nature of the injury makes it much harder to compensate victims. Indeed, it's often difficult to even identify who the victims are in a matter like this, although as the lawsuit progresses the FTC anticipates that will become more clear.

The commission also expects to have more information regarding the defendants in this case once discovery is complete. Currently the complaint names marketing firms Acquinity Interactive, Worldwide Commerce Associates, RevenuePath Limited and the Firebrand Group, S.L. of Nevada along with several of their directors and officers. According to Wernikoff, however, the FTC is continuing its investigation to decide whether any further defendants will be named.

More information regarding text message spam is available at the FTC's website here. Still, a good rule of thumb is to just keep it simple: if someone is promising you $1,000 free, there's almost always a catch.

--Written by Eric Reed for MainStreet

Read: Do Cool Sh*t

2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $128.46 0.00%
FB $78.97 0.00%
GOOG $558.40 0.00%
TSLA $203.34 0.00%
YHOO $44.28 0.00%


DOW 18,132.70 -81.72 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,104.50 -6.24 -0.30%
NASDAQ 4,963.5270 -24.3630 -0.49%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs