N.J. lawmakers consider banning unsolicited text messages

Tired of advertising being sent to your phone? The New Jersey Legislature is talking about banning unsolicited text message ads.

Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Paul Moriarty is the primary sponsor of the measure. He says consumers are getting about 4.5 billion of those advertising messages each year.

“Most people that have a cell phone are tired of getting unsolicited text messages if they are receiving them,” said Moriarty, D-Gloucester. “They don’t want them, they didn’t ask for them, and they shouldn’t be getting them.

“They may actually have to pay for them,” he added. “It’s the last frontier for spam. We have to stop it before it gets even worse.”

Companies would be allowed to send text advertisements only to customers who give their express consent.

Violations of the ban would be punishable under the state’s consumer fraud act with fines up to $20,000.

The Assembly passed a similar measure in the previous legislative session, but the Senate did not act on it.

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