Verizon Wireless Settles Spam Case with Mortgage Company

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In what is believed to be the first successful use of Colorado's junk e-mail law to protect wireless telephone users, Verizon Wireless said yesterday that it settled a lawsuit with Acacia National Mortgage Co., requiring the company to stop sending spam to Verizon Wireless customers.

Verizon said it filed the lawsuit in Denver District Court in response to customer complaints. The suit invoked the Colorado Junk E-Mail Law and sought to prevent Acacia National Mortgage from sending "repeated, unsolicited text messages" to Verizon Wireless customers.

"Our goal was to stop Acacia National Mortgage Co. from spamming our customers," said Tom Roberts, vice president of marketing for Verizon Wireless' West Area. "[This] settlement accomplishes that and puts other potential spammers on notice that Verizon Wireless will take all appropriate legal action to stop junk e-mail from clogging our customers' service."

Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Verizon's customers were receiving thousands of messages from Acacia National Mortgage daily, Roberts said. The messages were sent to Verizon Wireless customers who had signed up for the company's text messaging service. He said Verizon originally contacted the mortgage company and formally requested them to stop spamming its customers, but the request was ignored.

"Text messaging is a valuable service," he said. "We will take action, including legal action, as quickly as possible to stop the spam."

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