Category: Text Messages

Who Do You Report Spam Texts To?

Many businesses choose to market their products by text, but this can be very annoying to those receiving the spam text messages.

These texts can be straight forward sales pitches but most are for PPI, accident claims, personal injury claims and debt management.

Plus, most of the businesses that send out these spam messages are not the product sellers but lead makers who take the details of people who respond to their adverts and then sell them on to interested parties, usually multiple times e.g. to insurance companies, personal injury solicitors etc.

It is against illegal for anyone to send you spam texts unless you have previously given them permission, but the law does not cover messages sent to businesses.

If you receive texts from businesses you do not know, then responding to the text or complaining to them will likely just will confirm that your number is active and your details will be sold on.

But you should  report the text to your network operator.

To report a spam text forward the text to 7726, which are numbers on your telephone keypad that spell out the word ‘SPAM’.

You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You will not be charged for sending texts to 7726.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the rules on spam texts and you can complain to them online at or phone 0303 123 1113.

Complaining helps the regulators see what’s happening and who to target for investigation.

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The SIM Swap Scam

If you access a website and have forgotten the password, there is usually a link labeled ‘Forgot Your Password’ or similar and if you click the link they will send you a password reset request by email.  You click the reset request in the email message and reset your password.

Now, if scammers can get hold of such an email message, then they can reset your password and lock you out of your own account and you will have great difficulty getting your account back.

This situation is becoming more dangerous as many people and businesses rely on mobile phones for proof of identity. e.g. your bank may send you security numbers to type into your account to prove your ID but if scammers can access your phone and read your messages, they are in control.

The SIM Card Swap

Unless you have leave sufficient information openly online for scammers to break your password, then their usual approach is called social engineering.

This means to take advantage of people’s trust. So they will research your information online and use what they find to convince a mobile phone shop worker (or customer service worker) to cancel your current SIM card (I lost it) and activate a new one.

They will then have access to your messages, contacts list etc.

Then they try to access your bank account and shopping accounts.


To be safe, you need to limit the amount of personal information that is available about you online. Anything you make public can be read by criminal’s intent on defrauding you or stealing your identity.

Text messages are very useful, but remember that they are not encrypted and can potentially be read by anyone.

You can use APPS that encrypt the data such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, etc. for anything that must be kept private.

If there is any suspicious activity on your account or you receive suspicious calls, then contact your bank or phone company.

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Mass Texting Problem

The BBC undercover reporting team managed to confront two men who were responsible for sending out 60 million text messages a month over PPI and road traffic accident claims.

Andrew Horner-Glister and Barry Sanders  boasted about being the biggest creators of nuisance text messages in the UK but say they stopped in 2012 and the companies they ran have been wound up.

That makes it difficult for the authorities to do anything about the pair even though their actions were illegal.

While being secretly filmed, Mr Horner-Glister said: ‘We send 200,000 texts out, get 300 positive responses back, we did that for years. We were probably the largest in the UK.’

So their response rate was just 0.15% and 199,700 people out of the 200,000 had their time wasted with nuisance messages they didn’t want.

Unfortunately it can be so easy and cheap to send out texts and emails that people can do so, without having to think of how much annoyance and time-wasting they cause.

Now you understand why you sometimes get the same annoying message time and time again – the senders don’t care and can’t be bothered to stop sending to people who don’t want the messages.

It’s a shame they cannot be jailed for their activity or at least have their ill-gotten gains confiscated.

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Fake Text Messages From Loved Ones

This fake message is designed to overcome your natural suspicion by using a name you may be familiar with and that the person needs help.

Fake Text Message

If you don’t know a Sarah then you’ll probably guess it’s either a fake or intended for someone else.

But if you have a daughter or sister or wife or friend named Sarah then you might fall for this and text back.

If you do, the text will cost you a lot (premium number) plus the return message will go about what happened and how she desperately needs money for hospital bills or some such thing.  It probably will also have some story about why she’s not on her normal phone number – broken phone, lost phone,  confiscated phone etc.


If the scammers have been watching your social media then they know your child or siblings name and that they are away on holiday somewhere and can use that to make the texts realistic.

Think before you respond.