Which!!! are the top five ways to keep your mobile spam-free?
It’s the second four-day week in two weeks, so we’re expecting you all to be a great mood. However, one of the things most likely to ruin a glorious mood is constant and persistent hounding by spam peddlers who, it seems, never take a day off. And it’s not just nuisance calls that get our collective goat- Which!!! research suggests that almost half of people with a mobile phone receive at least one spam text a week, mostly wittering on about whiplash compensation or claiming for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Yes, still. And they’re constantly finding new ways to annoy you- with reports that the latest en vogue topic of spam textiness being the plugging of dodgy pension liberation schemes.
So, our good friends at Which!!! asked their friends, and 60% of them said they would report nuisance calls and texts, if only they knew how. So here we have the top five tips for getting rid of spam texts and leaving your inbox free for messages from pizza delivery companies and your mobile provider…
1. Use 7726
A massive 90% of the people Which!!! asked didn’t know that you can use 7726 to report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider. 7726 is a universal number used by all providers (except Vodafone who use 87726) and, if you’re into that kind of thing, spell SPAM on your phone’s alpha-numeric keypad.
All you need to do is either forward it or copy and paste the message (if you are over 35 you might need to get a young person’s help to do this) and send it to 7726. You should get an automated response thanking you and giving you further instructions.
2. Never EVER reply to the text message…
If you reply, the scurrilous spammers will know that your number is live, rather than just being a randomly generated number on a list, so they will take this as an invitation to send you more and more unwanted text messages. Just delete the text, and if it comes from an identifiable number, block the sender to prevent further fishing contact.
3. … unless you know who the text is from
While many spammers use ‘unknown’ numbers, you can sometimes get marketing texts from companies who might legitimately have your mobile number, such as pizza delivery companies or taxi firms. While you are supposed to have explicitly opted in to text marketing, these text from proper companies will have instructions on how to remove yourself from the list, often by replying STOP. Do this and they should not contact you again.
4. Tell them to go away
It sounds too simple, but 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. Of course, this again assumes this is an identifiable company contacting you who is registered as a Data Holder.
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. If they refuse, or you discover that they subsequently have not removed your details you can…
5. …report them 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) for breaches of the Data Protection Act.