View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Software
November 26, 2012

Over 14 million Brits receive spam texts every month

Hundreds of millions of mobile spam texts are being sent each month with consumers being charged when they reply ‘opt out’ or ‘stop’ to these messages.

By Tineka Smith

mobile users

According to a study by mobile security firm, AdaptiveMobile, over 148 million spam texts are being sent to consumers each month.

With 61% of the UK population having received a mobile spam text, 22% have replied to ‘stop’ messages causing them to receive unwanted phone calls or have money charged to their phone bill.

AdaptiveMobile revealed that consumers wouldn’t report discrepancies on their mobile phone bill until it went £5 over. The study estimates that this could add up to over £20m in profits each month for mobile scammers.

"What starts as an annoyance can very quickly turn into fraud," says Ciaran Bradley, VP Handset Security, AdaptiveMobile. "We’ve seen this happen in America over the last few years and with 60% of the British population having received unsolicited messages, this is becoming an important issue for the mobile ecosystem. If we act now, there is no reason why we cannot get rid of this headache entirely and preserve a channel which is very much trusted by the nation."

The research suggests that unless SMS spam is better controlled operators will experience significant churn. Many consumers do not know what to do when receiving regular spam and only 6% report spam to their mobile operator or a consumer forum.
"Operators, content aggregators, security providers and regulators need to work together to expose the spammers and share data on the culprits to ensure the problem can be solved once and for all," added Bradley.

SMS is one of the nation’s most popular and trusted methods of communicating. SMS (17%) ranked only second to email (60%) as a trusted source for receiving messages from unknown persons or companies.

"Many people will have experienced the irritation of receiving unwanted marketing calls or spam texts," says Stephen Eckersley, Head of Enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office. "Better mobile controls can help to reduce the amount of spam texts an individual receives. We are currently working to identify companies who continue to send out spam in breach of the law and we have the power to issue a monetary penalty of up to £500,000 against the worst offenders."

Content from our partners
Unlocking growth through hybrid cloud: 5 key takeaways
How businesses can safeguard themselves on the cyber frontline
How hackers’ tactics are evolving in an increasingly complex landscape

Please follow this writer on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU