How To... deal with nuisance texts that cost you money

mobile appsWe received a message from someone who had been receiving nuisance texts from a company called 'Mobjizz'. Stop laughing at the back there. This company send you links to mucky things and charge you for the privilege.

The message reads: "I have been receiving dirty texts from this company mobjizz for the past 3 weeks and have checked my mobile phone bill and I have been charged £6."

"I don't go on these kind of sites and have never heard of this company before. The number I get these texts from are different every time, like '69029' or 'Hardcore'. These messages contain links and have an option to replying back with STOP to stop these messages. I have never clicked on the links or replied STOP, I just delete the texts straight away."

There's a whole host of companies out there who do this sort of thing, so what can you do to ensure it stops happening to you?

Well, for starters, if you look in the settings on your phone, you should be able to block certain numbers. However, if the company has a variety of numbers from which they spam you, that's no use. Worth doing all the same. Also, do NOT reply with 'STOP' in a bid to end these texts. That just lets the spammers know your number is active, meaning they can send you loads of rubbish.

As far as the law is concerned, just like unsolicited recorded message calls, the general rule is that organisations are prohibited from sending marketing texts to individuals without the prior consent of the recipient. However, according to Ofcom: "However, the law also provides that an organisation may send unsolicited texts in circumstances where:

- the organisation has obtained the recipient's contact details in the course of a sale (or negotiations for the sale) of a product of service to that recipient;

- the text message relates to similar products or services offered by the sender; and

- the recipient has been given a simple means of opting-out of receiving such messages at the time they provided their contact details and at the time of each subsequent communication."

If you'd like to stop receiving marketing texts, you can report the text to your network operator, who should be able to prevent further messages. To report a marketing text to Orange, O2, T-Mobile, or 3, simply forward the text to 7726. For Vodafone users, forward the text to 87726. You can remember this number easily because, on your phone, '7726' spells out the word 'SPAM'. Operators have been known to refund money taken from such texts, so don't be shy in asking them about it. The mobile operators can put a block on any company with a 5-digit code (which is usually used by companies like these).

In addition to this, you can get in touch with the ICO who can take action against companies and investigate spammers. You can call them at 0303 123 1113 or visit their website. You can also call Ofcom's helpline at 0300 123 3333.

You can also get in touch with PhonePayPlus and make a complaint about one of these companies. They have a ready-made online claim form which you can use. Have a look at that here.

1 comment

  • Sawyer
    I had this trouble a few years ago. Sadly, Orange - my network provider at the time - were not at all helpful, refusing to block the texts or provide valid contact details of who they were giving my money to. So they lost a customer. PhonePayPlus were equally useless and I heard nothing from them. I am struggling to think of a valid purpose for pay-to-receive texts, now that we all have apps. Are there any other uses besides scams?

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