By Greg Mills
The notion of junk postal mail, spam email and unsolicited sales phone calls is old news, so leave it to the enterprising telephonic abuse companies to push the envelope. I have gotten two junk text messages recently and have looked into them to understand what is going on.
It turns out this form of abuse is the new wave in the wholesale violation of our electronic privacy. Previously, my wife, daughter and family were the only common source of text messages, so naturally we check text when they come in.
I was furious when Lend Co., or LendCo actually Xoom or Zoom loans, which is not licensed as a lender in Kansas I might add, offers to hook me up with a lender. This may be a Nigerian Bank Fraud or not, but who knows? Never do business with spammers under any condition!
I turns out at least one company is directly responsible for this outrageous abuse:
1655 North Commerce Parkway
Weston, Florida 33326.
Telinet (www.telinet.net) describes itself this way:
“Telintel Ltd. provides telecom services to customers worldwide. It offers calling card, SMS A2P, call center voice, international voice, data, voice and fax transmission, wholesale and retail voice termination, SMS wholesale, dialer termination, SIP trunking and DID, switchless reseller, infrastructure, arbitrage, and other services. The company also provides enterprise solutions to call centers/retail stores/dealers/distributors/agents, promotional/advertising companies, charities, college campus representatives, associations/non-profits, international importers, etc. “
The CEO of Telinel is Mario Acosta. His phone is 786-871-6500. The media contact is Jason Fine (786-871-6500, extension 304).
While this company offers what might be legal telephony services (and junk phone calls?) they also appear to be wantonly violating the FTC “Do Not Call” list with junk text messages.
Recently the FTC won a $120 million dollar judgment agains the telemarketers who claim to be offering free nights at Hilton Hotels or the like, but actually are stealing your ID. Don’t be stupid or naive enough to give that information up over the phone to someone you don’t know.
Telintel has branch offices in the third world, Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala, France etc. The international aspect of the company potentially allows skirting US laws by utilizing third world infrastructure as cover. They do have a substantial nexus with the United States, so we can dream that the FTC will bust them.
There is a filing with the FCC I found on line that gives tons of information on Telintel company, responsible for at least some of the text abuse of numbers on the FTC no call list. See the Form 499 application to the FCC at http://apps.fcc.gov/cgb/form499/499detail.cfm?FilerNum=826334.
The Telintel Text advertising program that now sells your cell phone number and a slick method of texting you to their clients for about 6.7 cents per intrusion. It seem they do violate the do not call list. To see the slick web site designed to sell the abusive program to advertisers go to www.go4clients.com.
Telintel and the clients are both potentially liable for no call violations. If enough people complain to the FTC they might do something. Note unsolicited text messages to numbers on the Federal Trade Commission Do Not Call list are potentially each text, a separate violation of Federal law that can result in substantial fines.