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Spam is spreading to cell phones

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Spam mail is spreading from the Internet to cell phones, USA TODAY reports. Such junk e-mail is already a scourge in Japan, where mobile-phone subscribers receive - and often pay for - up to 30 spam text messages a day. Now, more are popping up on the wireless devices of U.S. consumers.

Wireless carriers are fortifying anti-spam defenses and promise to pay for calls that include spam text messages. Even so, consumers have to call carriers to collect, which could be a nuisance. Depending on the consumer's cell phone plan, text messages can cost 2 cents to 10 cents to receive, if not included in the cost of the plan.

The Federal Trade Commission discussed the problem during its three-day summit on spam last month. "If you think spam is bad on your computer, wait until it gets on your phone," said FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle.