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Five ways to put a stop to spam text messages

Almost half with a mobile get at least one spam text a week

Reporting spam texts

It’s not just nuisance calls that plague consumers. According to Which? research almost half of those with a mobile phone receive at least one spam text a week.

Text messages may ask recipients to claim compensation for accidents or mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). 

And, following recent rule changes, spam texts are increasingly encouraging people to join shady pension liberation schemes.

We also found that six in 10 people would like to report nuisance calls and texts, if they knew how.

We have identified the top five ways to put a stop to nuisance SMS messages.

1. Delete the text without replying

If the text is from an unknown number, never respond.

Spam texts like this will use your reply to confirm that your number is live, which means you will be on the receiving end of even more unwanted text messages. In these cases simply delete the text. 

But make sure you report the spam text first. See Number 3 below for the best way to do this. 

2. Reply with stop

Either because you never actually read the full message, or because the company sending the texts hasn’t told you, in most instances you can stop texts coming from legitimate companies by replying with ‘STOP’.

But you should only reply ‘STOP’ if you know the company that’s sending the message and can be sure it’s a legitimate number. 

3. Use 7726 to report spam texts

You can report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider. Recently published Which? research revealed a  whopping 90% of mobile phone owners had never heard of the 7726 text service.

All operators now use 7726 – with the exception of Vodafone who use 87726 – as a short text code you can use to report spam texts. It’s easy to remember as the number spells out SPAM on a mobile phone keypad.

To report a spam text either forward it or copy and paste the message and send it to 7726. Once sent, you should get an automated response thanking you and giving you further instructions.

4. Contact the company

Under the Data Protection Act you have a right to ask companies to stop unwanted direct marketing – whether it is by phone, post or email.

You can contact the company directly and make a formal request to have your details removed from their system and no longer user those details for direct marketing purposes

5. Report the company to the ICO

If you continue to receive spam texts or calls from a company after asking to be removed from its database, you can report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

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