“You may be entitled to thousands in mis-sold payment protection insurance, reply now for a quote”… “Our records show you may need help, don’t delay, reply for debt advice”…“Good news! You are due a pay out”
Do these lines sound familiar?
If so, you’re likely to be one of the thousand, millions even, of people receiving spam texts from bonus debt and claim companies every day.
Annoying and worrying, how can you stop these time wasters from affecting your life?
Whilst you might think you simply have to put up with this nuisance and press ‘delete’ every time a new text pops up, you don’t! Help is at hand.
By law, The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 protects you against such spam texts, meaning that unless you agree to receive such information from a particular company, through either agreeing to them selling your details onto similar service-based companies, or through a sale you conducted through the company themselves, they are not allowed to send you such marketing communication. If this wasn’t the case, then basically, they’re breaking the law.
The basic common sense notion of all this is of course to be careful who you give your number to, and to check out any marketing opt-outs if you conduct a sale. However, these days with many people suffering from money worries, and several banks in the midst of major PPI claim pay-outs, there is a rather worrying trend of random texts being sent out to people who never even gave out their phone number in the first place.
If you’ve ever received one of these texts, this is likely to be the case with you too. Most of the time, these particular organisations are simply chancers, making up phone numbers and hoping for the best, i.e. that someone receives the text, they reply because they’re either interested in receiving a PPI claim pay-out, or really are struggling with money, and then they can sell on this person’s details to debt management or claims companies, making themselves a tidy profit. These people are taking advantage of people’s personal money problems, and you don’t have to put up with it, as they are clearly breeching the rules, and ultimately, the law.
So what can you do to stop these irritating texts?
Well of course, you could simply ignore them, and if it’s just the odd text you receive, this may not be a problem. However, if it becomes persistent, and you find it is affecting you, report it to your network operator, who will happily block the number, stopping any further spam pinging to your phone from that number. Of course, if the organisation concerned then change their number, they could in effect continue to harass you through a different number.
Another option is to forward such text messages to 7726. This is a generic number that in most cases won’t count towards your text allowance, although do check with your network as rules vary, and these messages will then be identified and investigations can take place.
If you feel particularly affected on a regular basis by these texts from either the same company or several different ones, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, who will be happy to help you and offer advice on what steps you can take.
Don’t let these chancers irritate you a second longer, take action.