UK networks join together to battle text spam

If you get a lot of SMS messages you didn't request, the networks could be about to come to your aid with the 7726 service.

The UK's major networks (EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three) have teamed up with industry body GSM Association and and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to offer the option to forward unrequested SMS messages to the 7726 number. That spells out spam on old keypads, if you didn't realise.

The service has existed for some time, but without the weight of the networks behind it, the effect was probably limited. But now it should be easier to share data, find the culprits and control what these annoyances are firing out. It's a big problem too. According to, more than two thirds (68%) of Brits get unwanted text messages they cannot unsubscribe from, with almost a quarter (24%) at least once a week.

'The real-time information about spam attacks we are now receiving from the UK operators is helping us to quickly identify breaches in the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulations, track down perpetrators and issue monetary penalties against them,' claimed ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley.

'Our estimates, based on data from the Spam Reporting Service, suggest that as many as 516 million unsolicited SMS messages were received in the UK in the second half of 2013 and with an estimated 99 million received in February 2014 alone,' added Neil Cook, CTO at Cloudmark, which operates the actual service.

It's a first step to blocking all nuisance communications to your phone, with the next target being nuisance calls. That really can't come soon enough. But in the meantime, get reporting those spam texts if you want them to go away.

Source: Crave

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