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.

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