Posted November 10, 2018 14:02:49A new report from the Canadian Federal Trade Commission has found that text messages can be misleading, and that consumers should avoid sending or receiving them at all.
In its 2017 report, the agency found that users of Google’s Gmail service were being duped into sending messages from their Gmail account when in fact they were being directed to an IP address that was owned by a spammer.
While the FTC found that some of these messages are from people who have actually been victimized by the spammer, others are not.
For example, a red cross message on a text message from a man who lived in a small town in Manitoba in 2015 was actually from a friend of the victim.
The FTC also said that messages sent to an address that looks like it belongs to a legitimate business and the location is not real are often not genuine.
The agency said that it has issued a report to the US Federal Trade Committee on this issue, which it will share with Congress.
The new report by the FTC comes as the government is reviewing the use of automated messages to target consumers, including in advertisements.
A recent study by consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge found that in 2018, about 20% of consumers reported receiving automated messages from a company or a service provider.
Public Knowledge says that spam and other forms of automated messaging have become increasingly prevalent over the past several years, with the number of spam accounts growing by 50% annually since the beginning of the year.