BT identifies more than 31 million nuisance calls in one week

BT is now launching a new service for its customers which it says could block up to 30 million such nuisance calls a week. Called BT Call Protect, the system analyses call data to identify rogue numbers. Typically it will highlight phone numbers that make large numbers of calls. Those calls will then be automatically diverted into a junk voicemail box.

The company, which supplies 40% of the landlines in the UK, said more than 12 million of those were about accident claims. The figures were collected over seven days between 13 and 19 December.
The system will continue to block such callers even if they change their number, a common tactic used by spammers. Customers will also be able to identify other nuisance callers, by dialling in the code 1572 after receiving such a call.
Talk Talk introduced a similar central call blocking system for landlines three years ago, while Vodafone operates a system for mobiles. The Talk Talk system now blocks 92 million calls a month, a spokesperson said, double the amount it did a year ago.
However the Minister for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said he welcomed BT’s new technology. “Nuisance callers are a terrible blight on society and government and industry are working together to crack down on them,” he said. “We’ve forced companies to display their numbers when they call you, made it easier to prosecute those involved in making the calls, and increased the maximum fines up to £500,000.”
Earlier this month, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that more than 370 people were complaining about nuisance calls every day, and that half of those were about automated calls. Consumers can block some calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), but many firms get around the restrictions by basing themselves abroad.

Missed call scams

If you receive a missed call on your mobile phone from a number you don’t recognise, think twice before calling it back.
That’s because there’s a chance if you do ring back, you’ll fall victim to a scam which could leave you out of pocket. The following explains more about ‘missed call’ scams, how to spot them and what to do if you think you may have fallen victim.
How do they work?
Scammers use automated systems to dial mobile numbers. The call often lasts less than a second and comes up as a missed call. Calls will typically be from from a number beginning 070 or 076 (which look like mobile numbers but cost considerably more to call.) or from non-geographic numbers such as those beginning 084, 087, 090, 091 or 118.
Anyone who does call the number back is charged for as long as they’re on the phone.
What can you do?
If you receive a missed call from a number you don’t recognise, think twice before calling back . Particular care should be taken when responding to calls from unknown numbers beginning with 070/076, 084/087, 090/091 or 118. Genuine callers will leave a voicemail or call back later.
To prevent making accidental or inadvertent calls (such as dialling a number when your phone is in your pocket or bag, for example), remove the suspicious number from your call log. Avoid putting direct-dial shortcuts for friends and family on the home screen of your phone and set up a screen lock. This will prevent all use of the phone until you enter the PIN, pattern or password.
You can also bar calls to international and premium rate numbers. Speak to your provider for advice on how to do this.
If you believe you have fallen victim to a missed call scam, contact your provider as soon as possible. You should also contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre.

Calling all mobile users… text 85095 to reduce nuisance calls

Mobile phone users can send a simple text message to opt out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls from today. The ‘text-to-register’ service, launched by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS1 and Ofcom, enables mobile phone users to add their number to the UK’s official ‘do not call’ database by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 85095.

It is illegal for organisations to make unsolicited sales and marketing calls to numbers registered with the TPS, unless they have a person’s consent to do so.
According to Ofcom research, only half (48%) of people familiar with the TPS are aware that mobile numbers can be registered, compared to almost nine in 10 (88%) for landline phone numbers. This helps explain why only 2.9 million mobile numbers (around 3%) are registered on the TPS database, compared with 18.5 million landline numbers (around 85%).
By introducing the quick and easy text-to-register process, the TPS and Ofcom aim to raise awareness of the preference service among mobile users and drive registrations. Mobile phone users should now be able to dodge irritating cold calls for free by texting the second opt-out number the Telephone Preference Service has launched in a week, after it emerged some were being charged to text the first number (78070). While some users may receive a warning message stating the new number isn’t free, the TPS assures us that no charge will be made.
How ‘text-to-register’ works:  To register, mobile customers simply text ‘TPS’, followed by their email address to the shortcode 85095. They will receive a text reply from the TPS confirming their number has been successfully added to its database.
Registrants should notice a gradual reduction in unsolicited sales and marketing voice calls after a few days, although it can take up to 28 days for the service to become fully effective. A study commissioned by Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office found people registered with the TPS saw a reduction in the monthly volume of live sales or marketing calls received of around a third (31%). Registering with the TPS, however, does not prevent spam text messages.5
John Mitchison, Head of the Telephone Preference Service, said: “Rogue callers operate illegally and against the interests of ordinary people. Texting will make it easier for people to register their mobile numbers on the TPS, which is the only official no-call list, and help us stamp out rogue callers once and for all by giving the Information Commissioner more ammunition to prosecute these cases.”
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom Consumer Group Director, added: “Many millions of landline customers already take advantage of the protection the TPS gives against nuisance calls, and we want to ensure it’s as easy as possible for mobile users to do the same. We encourage anyone who wants to reduce the number of frustrating and unwanted calls to their mobile phone to register with the TPS today.”
Baroness Neville Rolfe, Minister responsible for data protection, said: “Nuisance calls are incredibly intrusive and can cause significant distress, particularly to elderly and vulnerable members of society. Government is committed to tackling this problem, and we have introduced a series of measures that have already seen record fines handed out to combat these rogue callers. This new service from the TPS and Ofcom will help protect people with mobile phones, making it easier for them to register via text and opt out of the call list.”
As well as registering with the TPS, people can tackle nuisance calls and messages in other ways. Ofcom has the following five tips:
1) Be careful who you give your contact details to, whether it’s online, on the phone, or in person.
2) Look carefully at any marketing ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ boxes. These boxes are often buried in the small print. If you don’t pay attention to them, you could find yourself inadvertently agreeing to be contacted by companies you don’t recognise.
3) If someone rings and asks for financial information over the phone, such as your account details or PIN number, don’t provide it.
4) Talk to your phone provider to see what privacy services are available, and consider a call-blocker – though be aware, you may need to pay for these services.
5) If you receive a nuisance call or message, make a complaint. Complaint information helps regulators take action against companies acting unlawfully. If the call is a live telesales call, an automated marketing message, or a spam text message, complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can report spam texts to your mobile network operator by simply forwarding the text to 7726. If you receive a silent or abandoned call, complain to Ofcom.

Don’t get spoofed by phone number scams

Many phone handsets now let you see the number of the person calling before you answer. This feature – known as “Caller ID” or “Calling Line Identity” (CLI) – is a handy way of screening the calls you want to answer from the ones you don’t.

However, there have been growing instances of nuisance callers and criminals deliberately changing the Caller ID, a practice known as ‘spoofing’.
Why do they do this?
Sometimes there’s a good reason for a caller to modify the Caller ID (for example, a caller who wishes to leave an 0800 number for you to call back if you want). However, with spoofing callers deliberately change the telephone number and/or name relayed as the Caller ID information.
They do this to either hide their identity or to try to mimic the number of a real company or person who has nothing to do with the real caller. For example, identity thieves who want to steal sensitive information such as your bank account or login details, sometimes use spoofing to pretend they’re calling from your bank or credit card company.
What is being done?
Calls with spoofed numbers can and do come from all over the world and account for a significant and growing proportion of nuisance calls. That’s why Ofcom – www.ofcom.org.uk – is working with the international regulators – as well as the telecoms industry – to find solutions to the problem. Voice over IP (VoIP) technology – the type of technology used to make internet calls – is often used in spoofing. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which helps to develop internet standards, has created a group specifically to tackle this issue.
What should you do?
Identity thieves and other fraudsters often pose as representatives of banks, credit card companies, creditors, or government departments to get people to reveal their account numbers and other sensitive information. Never give out your personal information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon the Caller ID as the sole means of identification, particularly if the caller asks you to carry out an action which might have financial consequences.
If someone rings you asking for this information, don’t provide it. Instead, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government department’s website to check whether the call was genuine. Wait at least five minutes before making the call – this ensures the line has cleared and you’re not still speaking to the fraudster or an accomplice.
To report it to the police, call 101 or 999 if the crime is in progress action.
Think you’ve  been a victim of Caller ID spoofing
Tell Action Fraud – If you have been targeted by a scam, or know someone who has then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should to contact your bank or credit card company.
Tell Trading Standards – If you think something may be a scam, phone 08454 04 05 06 and tell the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who can pass details of the case on to Trading Standards. The Trading Standards service is responsible for protecting consumers and the community against rogue traders and traders acting unfairly.
Tell others –  Warn family, friends, neighbours, the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme etc. If you get a suspicious circular or are contacted by someone you think may be a scammer, make sure you tip off others.

Live telesales calls

What is a live telesales call? If someone rings you trying to sell you something, this is known as a live telesales call.

They might be cold-calling you from an organisation you’ve had no dealings with, trying to sell a product or service such as double glazing or home energy services.
Alternatively, they might be from a company you deal with regularly, for example a garage reminding you that your car is due for its MOT, or your mobile phone provider encouraging you to upgrade your current deal.
What is the law? Although companies and organisations are allowed to make live telesales calls, they cannot call you if you have: told them previously that you don’t want to receive telesales calls from them; or registered your number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), unless you have previously given a company permission to make marketing calls to you (e.g. by ticking or unticking a tick box on a form when starting a new service or getting a product from the company).
The law makes a distinction between live telesales calls (where there is a person on the line) and automated marketing calls when a recorded marketing message is played. If your problem relates to automated marketing calls, take a look at the guide called Automated marketing calls.
How can I stop these calls? When someone makes a live telesales call to you, the calling agent must supply you with the name of the caller and, if you ask for it, the address of the caller or a free telephone number. You can use this information to notify the caller that you no longer wish to receive live marketing or sales calls.
You can notify the caller by telephone, email or letter, although we recommend you do it in writing and keep a copy of any correspondence or make a note of who you spoke to and when.
Once you have notified the caller, they should not make any live telesales calls to the number(s) you have given them.
In addition, you can register your landline or mobile number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
The TPS is a free service that allows consumers to record their preference not to receive any unsolicited telesales calls. Once registered with the TPS, the number(s) provided by you is added to an official list of numbers that all UK organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) are prohibited from calling for sales and marketing purposes.
Although there are commercial organisations that offer services for reducing nuisance calls, the TPS list is the only official register for opting out of live telesales calls. The TPS register is established and supported by legislation and organisations which want to make live telesales calls are legally required to screen their sales lists against the TPS list only. The TPS and Ofcom are not affiliated with any commercial organisations that offer services to reduce nuisance calls. If you choose to explore options provided by these commercial companies it is advisable to make sure you understand exactly what services they are offering you and any applicable charges.
An equivalent service, the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), is available for corporate bodies.
For more information about the TPS, the CTPS, or to register for either of these services, call 0845 070 0707 or visit their website.
Does TPS registration prevent all unwanted calls? No. Registering with the TPS should reduce live telesales calls but it will not prevent all unwanted calls. Firms can still contact you to carry out market research even if you’re registered with the TPS, although these calls must not be combined with any marketing or selling. Also, TPS registration does not work if you have previously given a firm permission to market to you by phone.
You may have done this without even realising. For example, some forms include a tick box which allows you to opt-in, or in some cases opt-out, of direct marketing by that organisation. By opting-in (or not opting-out) you may inadvertently have agreed to receive sales and marketing calls, even though your number is registered with the TPS.
If you believe you may have done this, don’t worry. You can withdraw your consent by simply contacting the caller and informing them that you do not wish to be called for marketing purposes. It is best to do this in writing, keeping a copy of any correspondence, or make a note of who you spoke to and when.
Sometimes when you ring up a firm with an enquiry, or asking for a quote, you will be played an announcement informing you that you will be automatically opted-in to receive future marketing calls. You can prevent this by informing the operator who answers your call to remove this opt-in.
I’ve registered with the TPS/CTPS but I’m still receiving calls?  When you register your number(s) with the TPS/CTPS it takes up to 28 days for it to come into effect.
If you are still getting calls after 28 days, you can complain to the TPS. You can do this online, by phone or in writing and you can find details of how to complain to TPS at the end of this section on live telesales calls. The TPS will contact the caller in question asking for an explanation and requesting that it removes the number from its call lists. It also sends details of the complaints it receives to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The ICO has powers to investigate and take action against anyone making marketing calls to consumers or corporate bodies registered with the TPS or CTPS. You can also complain directly to the ICO using the link at the bottom of this page.
I’m still receiving calls after asking an organisation not to call me? If you have not already done so, you should register with the TPS. You can also complain directly to the ICO using the link below, as the person calling you after you asked them not to is in breach of the rules in this area.
I’m receiving live telesales calls from overseas – Overseas firms who call on behalf of UK-based organisations should comply with UK law. This means that they should screen their call lists against the TPS register before making unsolicited sales and marketing calls.
If you are receiving unwanted calls from abroad on behalf of a UK-based firm, register with the TPS. If you have already registered, complain to the TPS or the ICO using the contact details at the bottom of this section.
Unfortunately, some firms base themselves overseas to avoid UK rules and do not make use of the TPS register. If you are receiving unsolicited live telesales calls which you believe to be from overseas firms you should still contact the ICO as they may be able to help you.
Always be wary of unsolicited live telesales calls from overseas, especially if they ask you to send them money or are using a premium-rate phone number (numbers beginning with 09).
Submitting a complaint:  Why complain? Your complaint can provide real benefits, both for you as an individual and for consumers generally. This is because complaints play a vital role in helping regulators tackle the companies responsible for nuisance calls and messages.
Without your complaints regulators would find it much harder to identify and take action against those responsible. Although complaining may not put a complete or immediate stop to all your nuisance calls or messages, it does help regulators take more targeted action in this area. Making a complaint is simple. You can do it online, by phone or by post, and it can take as little as 5 minutes.
Complain to the TPS
You can complain to the TPS by:
ringing 0845 070 0707
going online: TPS Register
or by post: Telephone Preference Service (TPS), DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS.
Complain to the ICO
You can complain to the ICO by:
ringing their helpline: 0303 123 1113
going online: ICO Complaints
or by post: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Useful information to include when making a complaint
When making a complaint, try to provide as much information as you can, including if possible:
the organisation which made the call;
the date and time of the call;
the telephone number that made the call; and
the nature of the sales/marketing that occurred during the call.
This information is valuable because it helps regulators to take more targeted action.
Scams
You should be aware of scam calls, such as those asking you to send money upfront or buy something up-front before you get the prize or offer, asking you to make expensive phone calls to get the prize or offer, or asking for your bank details or other personal information.
For up-to-date information and advice on the latest scams you should contact Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. For more information, please visit their website. However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should be to contact your bank or credit card company.
One specific scam to watch out for is the ‘missed call’ scam. Victims receive a missed call from a number beginning 070 or 076. These numbers are used as they appear to be calls from a mobile phone number.
However, when the victim tries to call the number back, the call is immediately dropped or an engaged tone is played and the victim is charged 50p for making the call. If you receive a missed call from a number beginning 070 or 076 that you do not recognise, do not call it back.
Instead, make a note of the number and complain to the premium rate regulator, Phonepay Plus by:
phone: 0800 500 212
online: Make a Complaint
or in writing: Phonepay Plus, Freepost, WC5468, SE1 2BR

Abusive and threatening calls

Malicious, abusive or threatening calls, whether from people you know or from strangers, are a criminal offence. If you receive such a call you should immediately call your phone company and ask for their nuisance or malicious calls team.
It doesn’t matter whether you know the caller’s identity or not. Simply tell them what the caller said. In some cases, particularly if the caller is threatening, your phone company will advise you to call the police. You may be offered ‘anonymous call rejection’ from your provider which may prevent these kinds of calls in the future (ask your provider if there’s a charge for this service).
Although this may stop abusive or threatening calls, you should be aware that such services may also block some calls you might want to continue receiving, such as some calls from overseas.
Direct threats – If the caller is making direct threats to you or your family and you believe those threats to be real and immediate, you must call 999 straight away. If you believe that the threats made are not immediate, then you should call your local police station (101 from any landline or mobile phone).

Abandoned and silent calls

The phone rings, you rush to answer but there’s no-one on the line. Abandoned and silent calls can be annoying and irritating at the best of times. But for some people – for example, those living alone – these calls can be particularly frightening.
This guide explains more about these calls, what can cause them and what you can do about them.
What are abandoned and silent calls?
An abandoned call is one that is terminated when you pick up the receiver. Instead of a person on the other end of the line you hear an information message from the organisation that is trying to call you. A silent call is where you receive a call but you can hear nothing and have no means of knowing whether anyone is at the other end of the line.
 What causes them?
Most abandoned and silent calls are not necessarily made deliberately but can be caused by the use of technology by organisations to maximise the amount of time their calling agents spend speaking to consumers. The majority of abandoned calls are caused by automated calling systems known as diallers.
These diallers, mainly used in call centres, dial telephone numbers automatically and connect people to call centre agents as soon as the phone is answered. But diallers may not always work as intended. For example, if the dialler makes a call but there is no call centre agent on hand to deal with it, you might receive an abandoned call.
Silent calls can occur, for example, when the technology used by call centres to detect answer-machines mistakes you answering for an answering machine, and cuts off the call without playing an information message, or you hearing anything.
What is the law in this area?
Ofcom tackles abandoned and silent calls and has published a policy statement for industry aimed at reducing the harm caused by these calls. Where someone is repeatedly making abandoned and/or silent calls, Ofcom may take enforcement action, including fining the caller up to £2 million.
Why complain?
Your complaint can provide real benefits, both for you as an individual and for consumers generally. This is because complaints play a vital role in helping regulators tackle the companies responsible for nuisance calls and messages.
Without your complaints regulators would find it much harder to identify and take action against those responsible. Although complaining may not put a complete or immediate stop to all your nuisance calls or messages, it does help regulators take more targeted action in this area.
Making a complaint is simple. You can do it online, by phone or by post, and it can take as little as 5 minutes. Ofcom continually monitors complaints about abandoned and silent calls and can launch an investigation if it believes a caller is not following the law.
I’m receiving silent/abandoned calls – what can I do?
If you are receiving abandoned or silent calls we recommend taking the following action:
Try and identify the caller: All companies using automated diallers should present a Calling Line Identification number on your telephone’s display, and allow you to obtain the caller’s telephone number by dialling 1471.
Alternatively, the automated message from an abandoned call should disclose the name of the organisation and provide a number that you can call to opt-out of receiving further calls.
Complain to Ofcom
You can complain by:
Ringing our Consumer Contact Team on 0300 123 3333
Going online
or by post: Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA
You should try to provide as much information as you can about the abandoned or silent call, including:
• the name and number of the caller;
• how many times you have been called by the same number; and
• over what period of time have you been receiving the calls.
If you are unable to identify the caller you should contact your phone company. Most phone companies have a nuisance calls team, who can give you advice on what to do next.

Automated marketing calls

Not every marketing call involves a call centre trying to push a product – sometimes you just hear a recorded message. 
 
Not every marketing call involves a call centre trying to push a product – sometimes you just hear a recorded message. These messages may claim that you’re due compensation, perhaps for a personal accident or for a mis-sold insurance policy, or may simply be trying to market a product or service to you.
 
This guide explains more about recorded message marketing calls and what you can do to stop them.
 
***If the message did not contain any marketing but was an information message from a company saying it had tried to call you but no operators were free to take the call, this is known as an abandoned call. You can learn more by looking at the guide on abandoned and silent calls. ***
  
Why do organisations make these calls?
 
These calls can have many purposes. For example: Claims management – these mainly concern personal injury claims and claims for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) or Debt management – these messages offer various types of debt management services.
 
Organisations make these calls to generate ‘leads’ which they then sell on to firms who offer the service provided in the message.  In the case of personal injury claims, the leads would essentially be a list of people interested in claiming compensation for a personal injury. This list is then sold on to a firm which manages personal injury claims. It will contact the people on the list and offer them its services in dealing with possible claims.
 
These calls may ask you to press a number to speak to a live agent. You can of course choose to put the phone down. However, if you receive an automated marketing message and choose to press a key to speak to someone you will not be charged for the call.
 
If a phone number was provided with the call, our advice would be to refrain from calling it, unless you are familiar with the firm trying to contact you. If you do decide to call the number the call charges will depend on several factors, such as the number called and whether you call from your landline or mobile phone, as set out in our guide on call costs.
 
What is the law?
 
Companies or organisations making automated marketing calls must have your permission before they call you.
  
What can I do about these calls?
  
If you are receiving automated marketing calls and have not given prior permission, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is responsible for enforcing regulations in this area.
 
Why complain?
 
Your complaint can provide real benefits, both for you as an individual and for consumers generally. This is because complaints play a vital role in helping regulators tackle the companies responsible for nuisance calls and messages. Without your complaints regulators would find it much harder to indentify and take action against those responsible.
 
Although complaining may not put a complete or immediate stop to all your nuisance calls or messages, it does help regulators take more targeted action in this area. Making a complaint is simple. You can do it online, by phone or by post, and it can take as little as 5 minutes.
 
Try to provide the ICO with as much information about the call as possible, in particular:
 
the organisation which transmitted the recorded message;
the number that the call came from;
the date and time of the call; and
the nature of the sales/marketing that occurred during the call.
 
Complain to the ICO
 
You can complain to the ICO by:
ringing their helpline: 0303 123 1113
online:
or by post: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
 
Even if you don’t know who called you, the ICO is still interested in hearing from you
 
Scams
 
You should be aware of scam calls, such as those asking you to send money upfront or buy something up-front before you get the prize or offer, asking you to make expensive phone calls to get the prize or offer, or asking for your bank details or other personal information.
 
For up-to-date information and advice on the latest scams you should contact Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. For more information, please visit their website
 
What if the calls are from overseas?
 
Firms based overseas who call on behalf of UK-based organisations should still comply with UK law. If you are receiving automated marketing calls from abroad on behalf of a UK-based organisation you should follow the guidance given above.
 

Spam texts

Texting is more popular than ever before, with over 152 billion texts sent in 2012 alone. So it’s no surprise that firms are increasingly choosing to market their products by text. But no-one wants to have their mobile phone bombarded with spam texts advertising products and services they don’t want.
 
Texting is more popular than ever before, with over 152 billion texts sent in 2012 alone. So it’s no surprise that firms are increasingly choosing to market their products by text. But no-one wants to have their mobile phone bombarded with spam texts advertising products and services they don’t want.
 
This guide explains more about spam texts and how to stop them.
  
What is a spam text?
 
A spam text is a text message sent to a mobile phone marketing a particular product or service.
 
These texts can have many purposes. For example: Claims management – these mainly concern personal injury claims and claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) or Debt management – these messages offer various types of debt management services.
  
Why do organisations send these texts?
  
Organisations send these texts to generate ‘leads’ which they then sell on to firms who offer the service provided in the message.  In the case of personal injury claims, the leads would essentially be a list of people interested in claiming compensation for a personal injury. This list is then sold on to a firm which manages personal injury claims. It will contact the people on the list and offer them its services in dealing with possible claims.
 
 What is the law?
 
It is against the law for anyone to send you spam texts unless you have previously given them permission. However, if there is an existing customer relationship between you and the sender, it can send you spam text messages about similar products and services, as long as you are given the ability to opt out of receiving such messages. The law does not cover messages sent to business numbers.
 
What can I do to stop receiving spam texts?
 
If you receive a text message from a sender you are familiar with, or from a shortcode (a shortcode is usually 5 digits long but can be up to 8), reply ‘STOP’ to the telephone number or short code shown in the text message. This will inform the sender that you no longer wish to receive their text messages.
 
However, if the text message is from an unknown sender, or from a sender you are not familiar with, we recommend you don’t reply. Responding to the text will confirm that your number is active and might actually result in you receiving more messages, or even voice calls. Instead, you may report the text to your network operator. To report a spam text forward the text to 7726.
 
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. An easy way to remember ‘7726’ is that they are the numbers on your telephone keypad that spell out the word ‘SPAM’.
  
How can I complain?
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the rules on spam texts. If you are unhappy about receiving such texts, or continue to receive them after informing the relevant company to stop, you should complain to the ICO. 
 
The ICO has powers to investigate any suspected breaches of the regulations, and take enforcement action against any organisation breaching the rules.
 
Complain to the ICO
 
You can complain to the ICO by:
Ringing their helpline: 0303 123 1113
Going online
By post: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
 
 
Why complain?
 
Your complaint can provide real benefits, both for you as an individual and for consumers generally. This is because complaints play a vital role in helping regulators tackle the companies responsible for nuisance calls and messages.
 
Without your complaints, regulators would find it much harder to indentify and take action against those responsible. Although complaining may not put a complete or immediate stop to all your nuisance calls or messages, it does help regulators take more targeted action in this area. Making a complaint is simple. You can do it online, by phone or by post, and it can take as little as 5 minutes.