Text messaging is ubiquitous in today’s society. Not surprisingly then, it has become a tool used by spammers to push junk products, harass, and otherwise annoy cellphone users across the country. In fact, alongside junk faxes and robocalls, spam texts are among the most common complaints made by consumers – and this despite the fact that these texts were maxed illegal in June of 2012.
If you have been harassed by illegal and annoying spam texts, please contact Markoff Leinberger today. Located in Chicago, Illinois, our consumer protection lawyers serve people living throughout the country. Call us at 877-905-5161 to learn how we can help you.
Understanding Your Rights
According to the Federal Communications Commission, which governs telephonic communication within the United States, spam text messages are regulated and controlled by two laws: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. Both bills address a variety of issues, but the most relevant to spam texts are:
- It is illegal to use an auto-dialer to send unsolicited commercial text messages
- As a general rule, you must provide explicit written permission to receive commercial texts advertising a product or service; without this permission, such texts are illegal
The TCPA requires written permission be given for any solicitations that could be considered a robocall, including text messages. If you have not given your express permission to receive a text, your rights may have been violated. “Permission” in these cases is, however, somewhat vague. If you have an existing business relationship with a company, their communications may not be considered spam – even if you do not want them. You should be able to opt-out of messages, though.
If no option to stop future text messages is provided within the body of the text, you may have cause to take legal action should multiple communications occur. Our Chicago spam text lawyers will assess your claim to help you determine if this is the case.
Political fundraising or candidate advertisements are exempt from these regulations, but like businesses, an opt-out option should be provided in all unsolicited texts from political parties and candidates.
Building Your Case
If you’re confused by any of these provisions, Markoff Leinberger’s Chicago consumer rights lawyers will be happy to discuss the details during a free initial consultation. We’ll examine the details of the messages you received and let you know if you have a claim.
If you’ve received a spam text, here’s what you should do:
- Do not respond to it; this will only encourage the spammer
- See if your mobile phone service has a number blocking option; if so, report the message
- Hold onto the message for now. Make a note of the day and time it was received
Victims of this harassment can often receive up to $500 per unwanted message received. That number can increase to $1,500 for repeated violations. During your free case evaluation, our attorneys will fully assess the history of your harassment, collect pertinent information, and take all steps needed to both stop the harassment and get you the compensation you deserve.