The Federal Trade Commission has sued 18 individuals -- 29 defendants in all -- in federal court seeking action against companies that allegedly order or engineer the sending of hundreds of millions of misleading spam messages to mobile phone users via text. In the eight lawsuits, the FTC claims that spammers inform people of free prizes if they provide certain personal data to the companies. The users, who get sent through myriad screens and forms, rarely win anything and generally end up paying for shipping and handling, according to the FTC's C. Steven Baker.

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