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Call Kurtis: Can I Stop Spam Texts From Bombarding My Cell Phone?

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Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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Spammers bombarding your cell phones with unwanted text messages – and the problem is only expected to get worse.

A Sacramento great-grandmother called Kurtis to find out how to stop them.

We’re talking about 4.5 billion text messages sent to U.S. cell phones last year. And if you don’t have unlimited texts, these spam texts could cost you 20 cents each!

“Claim your gift card now before someone else does,” said Ada Jefferson, while reading a spam text message.

The 71-year-old gets spam text messages around the clock.

“2, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning, 5 o’clock, whatever time,” said Ada.

The heart attack and stroke survivor says the constant dings drive her nuts.

“It just makes me so angry… Like urrrgghhh!!” said Ada.

Americans received 4.5 billion spam texts last year, according to Richi Jennings, an independent industry analyst.

Blasting people with unsolicited text messages is illegal under two federal laws.

But the Federal Trade Commission tells us it’s tough to track down spammers who constantly change their numbers and email.

So far they’ve only successfully tried one spammer.

“Spam makes spammers a ton of money. That’s why they do it,” said Jessica Dolcourt, CNET senior editor.

Dolcourt says the crooks want you to respond with your personal information so they can sell it to telemarketers or get a hold of your money.

“Try never to ever text or email your personal information like your bank account,” said Dolcourt.

You can help identify the crooks by forwarding the messages you get to S-P-A-M or 7726 on your phone.

“That goes to an agency where they basically, it’s a centralized account that takes a look at all the spam messages,” said Dolcourt.

That agency, the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), collects the information for cell phone companies who can block the numbers.

Some cell providers also have programs that can cut down on the spam you get.

“We’re giving away dozens of gift cards today,” Ada reads another spam text.

After we contacted Ada’s provider, the number of spam she’s received has dropped.

“So much stress lifted off me,” said Ada.

Each cell company has ways to cut down on spam. Click here for a information on spam blocking from each of the major carriers.

You can also report spam to the FTC and FCC.

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