Broward Men Sent 42 Million Spam Texts to Cellphones

Ever receive a text, and you think it's from a buddy or your girlfriend, and you look up to read it and it says: "Your entry in our drawing WON you a FREE $1,000 Target Giftcard! Enter "312."

Well, so have millions of other people

And now, two Broward businessmen are being punished by the Federal Trade Commission, and a Illinois federal judge, for apparently sending out 42 and a half million of those annoying spam texts.

Daniel Pessin, 26, and Jacob Engel, 25, were shut down by the FTC and ordered by the judge to pay a $377,321 fee and hand over the money they earned from their gift card scam.

Turns out, the spam texts were illegal because, as it is with most spam, the men sold the personal information people entered when they clicked on the link to a third party.

The scam worked when people would go to the website to "claim" their gift card. Once there, they would enter their personal information. Customers were also prompted to sign up for a bunch of other "risk free" trial offers, in order to finally get the gift card they supposedly randomly won.

Of course, none of it was free, and people not only ended up paying, but also getting their personal info into the hands of a couple of schemey dudes.

One of the main problems is that Broward County is ranked among the highest in spam bombardment across the U.S.

According to one company that tracks illegal messages, the 954 area code is ranked as the 9th most popular target for spammers and unsolicited ads on cells.

The good news is, the FTC is cracking down on these things, including a Deerfield Beach-based company that allegedly sounds out spam texts promising $1,000 iPad gift cards.

People can also help in the crack down by, you know, not being such suckers and clicking on the ads.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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