RealTime IT News

Verizon Wireless Closes Spammer Case

Verizon Wireless wrapped up another lawsuit against spammers that allegedly deluged the carrier's subscribers with offers of holiday cruises and vacations.

A New Jersey U.S. District Court ruled Florida-based Specialized Programming and Marketing LLC and its owner must pay Verizon more than $200,000 and barred further contact with customers.

The ruling closes Verizon's case against vacation spammer Passport Holiday, originally filed in October 2005. Verizon amended the complaint in February 2006 after Passport Holiday was fined $10,000 and named Specialized Programming and Marketing as the company that sent the spam.

Specialized Programming and Marketing was not available for comment.

The short text messages encouraged Verizon Wireless customers to call to claim a Bahamas cruise they supposedly won. Verizon charged the text messages violated the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

"Text messaging is a great and increasingly popular way to communicate, but unwanted or unsolicited text message spam to our customers' handsets is unacceptable," Steve Zipperstein, Verizon Wireless vice president of legal and external affairs, said in a statement.

Verizon has other spam-related lawsuits pending. Last year, the carrier filed lawsuits against three Florida telemarketers. In those cases, Verizon Wireless subscribers were told they'd won a resort trip or Ford Explorer and must call a toll-free number.