How to stop nuisance text messages

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CYW2TM Man is frustrated with cell phone coverage. Man; is; frustrated; with; cell; phone; coverage; 1; business; cell; phone;



Spam texts are a scourge of modern life. And not only are they annoying, some even involve you paying to receive them.

What's more, the best way to stop nuisance texts depends into which category of spam message they fall.

That's why we've come up with this quick guide explaining how to deal with unwanted messages, most of which fall into one of two categories: spam marketing texts and premium-rate texts.

Spam marketing texts
Yet another message from a company trying to convince you to claim back money spent on Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) - even though you never took any out? Whatever you do, don't reply.

Texts of this kind are generally sent out en masse by computers. So replying will simply confirm to the company that your number is a genuine one and could result in it being sold on to yet more spam texters.

The best way to deal with messages of this kind is to ignore and delete them, while steps you can take to reduce the number of spam marketing texts you receive include not giving out your mobile number - when filling in forms etc - unless absolutely necessary and ticking the "opt out" box when signing up for services online, for example.

You can also complain to the Information Commissioner on 0303 1231113.

*The exception to the no reply rule is if the message is from a named company, rather than an unidentified number. In this case, replying one word - STOP - should put an end to the texts.

Premium-rate texts
Unwanted premium-rate texts are even more annoying than spam messages because if you check your phone bill, you'll see that you are the one who pays for them at a rate of say £1.50 a time.

Also known as "reverse billed" messages, they come from four, five or six-digit numbers and are normally for subscription services such as games or weather updates.

Texts of this kind can only be sent out if you sign up to the service. But many people subscribe to premium-rate texts by mistake, for example by replying to a message.

If that is the case, text STOP to block future messages from the company. And if that doesn't work, contact premium-rate phone line regulator PhonepayPlus on 0800 500212.

It may be able to get you a refund of any charges already taken if you can prove that you did not sign up for the service.



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