Watch CBS News

South Florida Cell Phones Targeted By "Spammers"

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Cell phone spammers are targeting South Florida area codes.

According to a study by Cloudmark, a company that track spam text messages for wireless carriers, the Broward's 954 area code receives the most unwanted text messages in the country.

Miami's 786 and 305 area codes ranked 4th and 5th respectively on Cloudmark's list of most "spammed" area codes.

Area code 310 in Los Angeles ad 214 in Dallas came in 2nd and 3rd.

The unsolicited and illegal messages are enough to drive some people mad.

"I want to slam my phone on the floor," Omar Pineiro says. "I just hate those messages."

More than 16 billion spam text messages are sent each month around the world, according to industry analysts.

Cloudmark found roughly 84% of South Florida spam comes in the form of those "We buy junk cars" texts.

"It bothers me," Grisel Perez said. "Like, who buys cars for $300?"

The messages are also unclear to some.

"They're annoying actually," Lakevis Coleman said. "I'm not looking to buy a junk car."

Consumer protection attorney Bret Lusskin has made his career on combatting spam text messages, robocalls and debt collector harassment.

"A lot of telephone abuse comes out of South Florida," Lusskin said. "It's certainly a trend that has not been getting better. It's been getting worse for South Florida."

Lusskin said spam texts are more than just a nuisance.

"The fact that the spam messages exist at all places a burden on the entire cellular infrastructure and causes the prices to rise for everyone," Lusskin explained.

Lusskin said you can submit your number to the National "Do Not Call" registry, but that won't stop all spammers.

The messages are banned whether your number is on the list or not.

So the problem persists.

"The problem is going to continue to proliferate, because unfortunately, the laws that govern and prohibit text message spam and telephone abuse in general are under enforced," Lusskin said.

He encourages spam text recipients to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Some wireless carriers allow customers to forward unwanted text messages to "7726", which spells SPAM.

The carrier will then block the sender of the spam message.

Lusskin said whatever you do, don't respond.

A reply message will prove your number works and spammers won't hesitate to bombard your inbox again.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.