Sim cards used to send spam texts blocked

06 March 2012

Ever had one of those frustrating spam text messages purporting to offer accident compensation or payment protection? Annoying aren't they?

According to the Direct Marketing Association, about eight million of the things are sent in the UK every day.

Now, steps are being taken to clean-up the practice.

Some 20,000 mobile phone Sim cards used to send spam texts have been blocked by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), reports BBC Newsbeat.

The ICO used new powers it was given six months ago to try to help tackle what is now a growing problem.

However, it admits that the blocking merely scratched the surface of the problem.

Chris Garner, a 27-year-old joiner from Lancashire, started to receive spam texts after he applied for a loan just before Christmas.

"At first I just [texted] stop and forgot about it," he told the BBC. "But when you're getting eight or nine a day to begin with and then four or five a day two and half months later it gets annoying."

David Clancy, the ICO's investigation's manager, said once spammers have you number they will sell it into the claims industry.

"First users will pay £1, £1.50 for that phone number," he told the BBC. "A month later it will be distributed to lots of organisations for 50p, 20p, 10p a time. It makes a lot of money." Mr Clancy said the best advice is simply to not reply to any spam text.

Many mobile operators also have dedicated services for dealing with the problem.

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23/08/2012 02:29