Most people in the dark about reporting spam textsWhich? survey reveals only 1 in 10 know how to report spam SMS

02 April 2015

Reporting spam texts

New Which? research has revealed a startlingly low awareness of the 7726 text service that enables you to report spam texts for free. 

A whopping 90% of people said they have never heard of this number to report spam text messages to their mobile phone provider. 

The lack of awareness is surprising after the public's well publicised frustration with unsolicited texts urging people to reclaim PPI or compensation for a ‘recent accident.'

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is now warning of an imminent increase in spam text messages following the changes to pension rules coming into force on 6 April. 

Are you receiving unwanted marketing SMS messages? Read our guide and find out how to deal with spam text messages.

One spam text a week

Despite increased government action, including lowering the threshold for the ICO to investigate incidences of nuisance calls and texts, the problem isn’t going away. 

Almost half (45%) of those who have a mobile phone say they receive at least one spam text a week.

But with the discovery that 90% of the general public haven’t heard of the 7726 spam text reporting service, an increase in awareness is essential to help stop unsolicited SMS messages.

A previous survey for Which? found that six in 10 people would use services like 7726 to report nuisance calls and texts, if only they knew about them.

How do I use 7726?

You can report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider. All operators now use 7726 - with the exception of Vodafone who uses 87726 - as the short code to report spam texts which is free of charge.

It’s easy to remember as the number spells out SPAM on a mobile phone keypad. To report a spam text either forward or copy and paste the message you have received and send it to 7726. 

Once reported you should get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions.

Despite giving a different number Vodafone were one of the better performers in our survey, but the level of awareness was still very low with only 13% of their customers surveyed having heard of 87726. 

By comparison only 9% of Virgin and Tesco Mobile customers had heard of the service with awareness among customers of other providers at similar levels. 

More on this…