The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today < ahref="http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/02/marketer-settles-ftc-charges-he-sent-millions-deceptive-unwanted">announced it has charged affiliate marketer Jason Cruz more than $185,000 for sending millions of spam text messages to random phone numbers. The unwanted text messages sent to consumers falsely promised “free” gift cards and electronics.
Cruz has agreed to settle with the FTC, but isn’t able to pay the judgment of more than $185,000, which represents all of the money he received in connection with the scam. As a result, all but $10,000 of the monetary judgment has been suspended, meaning he has to pay just over 5 percent.
The FTC alleges Cruz’s text messages offered free merchandise such as $1,000 gift cards to major retailers, or free iPads, to individuals who clicked on links in the messages. A typical message read, “You have been selected for a $1,000 Walmart GiftCard, Enter code ‘FREE’ at [website address] to claim your prize: 161 left!”