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Susan Wood ReportingA word of caution tonight for cell phone users who want to keep their numbers out of the hands of telemarketers -- there's a problem arising with cell phone spam.
Cell phone spam is similar to the spam we get on our computers, and cell phone companies are trying to nip it in the bud so we're not deleting messages on our cell phones as often as we are on our computers.
Text messaging lets you send messages on your cell phone without saying a word.
Jon Roderick, AT&T Dir. of Sales: "It's a great concept; it's a fast easy way to communicate with other people."
You can get your message quietly or learn you have a message with a simple beep.
Todd Southwick, Verizon Assoc.Director: "To date in 2003, Verizon Wireless has transmitted one billion text messages."
But one beep you probably don't want to hear is that of a text message from a telemarketer.
Naomi Keller, Received Text Spam: "It's ridiculous. I've probably gotten in the last six months maybe four of them."
Sales people are getting lists of cell phone numbers and sending text messages advertising anything from CD's to sex hotlines.
Cell phone companies are using filters to try and catch mass text messages as they're sent, and they want to hear from you if you're spammed. There's something else you can do to protect yourself in the long term. List your cell phone number on the do not call registry, that way if you're solicited by text messaging, it will become a crime.
Monica Nord, Cell Phone Owner: "I would do it. I signed up for the do not call list for my home phone."
Jon Roderick, AT&T Dir. of Sales: "Cell phone numbers are not published in the phone book so obviously it’s up to you to decide who gets your cell phone number."
Another problem to watch out for is that some cell phone companies charge you to receive text messages, but if you contact them, they'll often reverse the charges