IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

ICO and mobile networks join forces to cut spam text messages

EE, O2, Three, Vodafone have all signed up to the scheme that will rely on consumers reporting spam texts

Spam email

Four of the major UK mobile networks have signed up to cut spam text messages with the help of the GSMA.

EE, O2, Three, Vodafone will work alongside data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to encourage customers to report any spam messages they receive.

The solution, powered by Cloudmark, allows consumers to report unsolicited text messages by forwarding them to 7726, or 'SPAM'.

The initiative is part of the GSMA's Spam Reporting Service, which aims to cut down spam messaging around the world.

John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA, said: "The GSMA Spam Reporting Service provides operators with a tool to measure the extent of fraud and phishing and provides the insight needed to address sophisticated messaging threats that could harm users.

"By working closely with the ICO, the UK's operators are making it more difficult for spammers and fraudsters to target mobile phone users in this country."

Steve Eckersley, Head of Enforcement at the ICO, explained the scheme will provide his organisation with real-time information about spam attacks, allowing the organisation to track down and deal with repeat offenders more effectively. 

If a company is found to be breaching the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR), they can be fined by the ICO.

Last year, a number of companies breaching PECR were fined for bombarding mobile phone users with text messages. 

One Payday loan lender was served a 175,000 penalty for sending texts encouraging unsuspecting victims to sign up to high-interest loans. In this instance, the ICO received more than 4,000 complaints from people who were sent the messages.

Increasingly, companies are targeting consumers with low credit scores in the hope they will sign up to a payday loan or a better deal on a phone contract. 

Neil Cook, chief technology officer at CloudMark, said these vulnerable people were increasingly targeted because they have inadvertently signed up to other services.

Featured Resources

Meeting the future of education with confidence

How the switch to digital learning has created an opportunity to meet the needs of every student, always

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Cloud Pak® for Watson AIOps with Instana

Cost savings and business benefits

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

Technology reimagined

Why PCaaS is perfect for modern schools

Free Download

Recommended

MoJ faces £17.5m GDPR fine over subject access request backlog
data protection

MoJ faces £17.5m GDPR fine over subject access request backlog

20 Jan 2022
EE, Vodafone delay post-Brexit return of roaming charges
mobile networks

EE, Vodafone delay post-Brexit return of roaming charges

6 Jan 2022
Cabinet Office fined £500,000 for New Year Honours data leak
data breaches

Cabinet Office fined £500,000 for New Year Honours data leak

3 Dec 2021
Vodafone to roll out self-sufficient masts powered entirely by renewable energy
mobile networks

Vodafone to roll out self-sufficient masts powered entirely by renewable energy

25 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

7 Jun 2022
Delivery firm Yodel disrupted by cyber attack
cyber attacks

Delivery firm Yodel disrupted by cyber attack

21 Jun 2022
Attracting and retaining talent through training
Sponsored

Attracting and retaining talent through training

13 Jun 2022