A Florida company that sent more than 50,000 unsolicited text messages to Seattle residents last May is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the Washington Attorney General s office.
Washington is the first state to take so-called text-spammers to court.
The state describes Orlando-based Dinav Holdings as a middle-man, hired by a loan company to drum up business. In this case, the text offers up to $1,500 in quick cash.
Sending unsolicited text message violates state and federal law, and is subject to a $500 fine for each text sent, according to Assistant Attorney General Paula Selis. The suit specifically accuses Dinav Holding of violating the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and two state consumer protection laws, the Washington State Commercial Electronic Mail Act and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act.
We think this is enough of a public problem that we have to do something about it, Selis said.
More than 50,000 texts were sent to people in the 206 area code during two days in May, according to the state.
They essentially blast messages, explained Selis, The message we want to send is we re going to go after them.
Phone numbers listed for Dinav Holdings were either disconnected or non-existent on Monday. The website listed in the text messages sent last May was not online on Monday.
Selis acknowledged there are plenty of other companies sending illegal texts, and she expects more lawsuits to be filed in the future.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press.