How to handle spam texts and automated marketing call

An automated marketing call is a telephone system that allows clients to interact with automated marketers or live agents at zero cost. In most cases, an automated marketing call will require you to click on a particular number to initiate a conversation with a company’s agent. If you receive such a call, you can choose to reject it or respond by clicking on the specified number.

Sometimes automated marketing calls may provide you with a number for you to make an extended call to the company. In such cases, our advice is that you should refrain from calling that number. You may only call that number if only you are certain of the authenticity of the firm calling you. However, notice that calling the issued number may come at a cost. This cost is influenced by various factors such as whether you are a mobile phone or landline user and the type of phone number you are to call. Be sure to verify the call costs linked to contacting the issued number before calling it.

How to Handle Spam Texts

Spam messages have become quite common, following the growth in the usage of text messaging as a communication channel. When you receive unsolicited or unwanted messages, there are several actions that you can take to save yourself from the nerve-racking trend. Here is what you should do.

1. Respond with a ‘STOP’

This course of action is viable if the spam texts you receive are from a firm you know or from a shortcode. Most of the shortcodes consist of a 5 or 8-digit number. In this case, you are advised to respond with a ‘STOP’ and send it to the company’s number that texted you or the shortcode. This response informs the sender that you are no interested in receiving their promotional messages, and it is absolutely free. You can do this as soon as you receive the unsolicited text message. This should stop them from sending the nuisance messages immediately.

2. Do Not Reply

If the message you receive is not from a defined shortcode, a known organisation, or a sender that you are familiar with, then you should just ignore it. Replying to such a text message confirms to the sender that your number is still active and open for more messages and calls.

3. Report the Spam

If the spam text messages become irritatingly incessant, you should consider reporting this to your network operator. You can report the spam by sending the promotional message to 7726. If you find this number to be hard to remember, keep this in mind; 7 7 2 6 are digits on the telephone dial pad that represent the outline of how the word ‘SPAM’ is spelt out.
If you are successful in reporting the spam, you may receive a text message with guidelines on what to do. This may include asking you for the number from which the message was sent.

4. File a Complaint with ICO

If you continue receiving these messages even after requesting the sender to quit sending you promotional messages, you should file a complaint with the ICO. You can reach out to ICO online via the ICO website or by phoning 0303 123 1113. Be sure to include the nuisance number in your complaint to help ICO in their investigations.