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The past three years, however, have brought a proliferation of cheap, prepaid cellphone plans with unlimited text messaging. In 2009, Americans received some 2.2 billion text messages that they identified as spam, by the estimate of Richi Jennings, an independent market analyst. But even that figure doesn’t capture the biggest boom, which has come in just the past few months, according to Cloudmark, a San Francisco-based firm that provides messaging security for major wireless carriers.

But that method was easily stymied, because wireless companies can separately track and filter such messages.

A few clicks later, you’re asked to enter your credit card number so they can charge a small .99 shipping fee.

Consider a text that invites you to “Test & keep unreleased i Phone5!

4) Have your carrier block messages from the specific phone numbers that are spamming you.

Reporting spam does help the carriers and government agencies identify patterns of spam messages over time.

Several wireless providers are in the process of deploying it.

If he’s right, perhaps mobile spam will be held down to the level of a minor annoyance for most.

There were ways around the charges, like sending the spam messages from the Internet rather than a mobile phone.

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