AT&T and Sprint Suspend Controversial SMS Campaign Codes

AT&T and Sprint have effectively joined Verizon in their respective moves to suspend SMS campaign codes that are affiliated with Jawa, one of the controversial companies cited by Verizon Wireless in a lawsuit accusing Jawa of SMS subscriber fraud.

Verizon claims Jawa (and two additional companies: Cylon and EyeLevel Holdings) have been actively defrauding Verizon Wireless by misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies.

“Verizon Wireless recently became aware of the possible fraud and immediately launched an investigation,” the company said in a prepared statement.

On Tuesday, AT&T joined the investigation, saying it too will look into Jawa for possible cyberfraud and suspend the firm’s premium text campaigns during the investigation. AT&T is taking the action in order to “determine as quickly and effectively as possible whether or not the allegations are accurate.”

“We have retained a nationally recognized cyberfraud-expert team to investigate,” AT&T revealed in a statement.

Jawa, says AT&T, is in full compliance with the investigation and vows to cooperate as requested.

According to the Arizona Republic, Jawa executives say they have been “regularly communicating with AT&T regarding what it called false and disparaging statements made by Verizon.”

Meanwhile, Sprint – without mentioning Jawa directly – also acknowledged having “suspended a series of premium short codes earlier this month to provide an opportunity for obtaining additional information in light of questions that have emerged.”