Ashesi University, Ethics, Africa, And I've Been Mugged Blog
Study: Small And Medium Sized Businesses Face Growing Data Security Threats

Mobile Marketing Company To Pay $500K Settlement Fine For Text Message Spam

This past weekend, the office of the New York State Attorney General announced a settlement with Game Theory LLC, a mobile content company. Game Theory agreed to pay a $500,000 settlement for allegedly sending deceptive text messages that tricked New York State residents into signing up for monthly text messages costing $9.99 per month:

"These charges appeared on the victim’s wireless telephone bill in a way that was difficult to detect. For months, consumers would pay for text messages they did not want before they realized they were being charged. For example, between May 23, 2011 and July 5, 2011, Game Theory sent text messages claiming that the recipients had a “secret crush,” and that the recipient needed to respond “yes” to find out who it was. However, in the process of finding out the identity of the “secret crush,” the recipient was also unknowingly signing-up for a text message service..."

Game Theory reportedly sent 150,000 such text messages to the mobile phones of New York State residents. Terms of the settlement require the company to exit the text messaging business.

Security experts advise consumers to never respond to unsolicited text messages, including those that claim a reply is necessary to stop any charges. Consumers should report text message spam and fraudulent mobile phone charges to their mobile service provider, and ask their provider to block those third-party charges. Consumers can also report this fraud to their state consumer protection agency, and to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

It is important for parents to remind and teach their children of good mobile device security habits, including how to recognize and delete smishing text messages.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Wrong way of mobile marketing. Mobile marketing does not only mean of calling people or buzzing them on their inboxes, mobile marketing also means of making your business available on peoples mobile phones. Majority of mobile phone users, use their phones to navigate websites to shop, update profiles, pay bills and other stuffs. Today 30% of business websites are creating a conversion of their homepages for mobile audiences. And that's how good mobile marketing starts. Keeping your business available.. open to visit...and easy to reach, fast to load.


Mobile promotion does not only mean of contacting people or humming them on their in-boxes, mobile promotion also indicates of making your business available on individuals cell phone devices.


A very bad example of mobile marketing!


Ouchies! That's a lot of money. But that's what you get for overdoing something good. Even great things can reap bad results when you go past your limit.

Allison Tate

Spamming really makes bad thing for you and for your site and now with your pocket.


We should be careful with this one and it's not just any other party's responsibility but for everyone. If you noticed that something is not right someone in authority must know to stop it.

Emma Jones

This should serve as a lesson to other mobile marketing company to be very sensitive to their consumers.


Good lesson for mobile company and now at least they would care what actually they are sending to their customers and hope other company will stop using this way

The comments to this entry are closed.