Unwanted text messages from companies spruiking their services or encouraging you to call an expensive telephone number are known as text message spam and can prove a real nuisance.
Tips to help you prevent and manage text message spam
- Not all text message advertising is spam – there are two kinds of commercial text messages – solicited and unsolicited. If they are solicited messages you selected to receive them. If they are unsolicited they can be a nuisance, cost you money and lead to problems.
- Prevention is better than a cure – the best way to stop text message spam is to be careful about who you share your mobile number with in the first place. When filling out forms, think twice before including your mobile phone number. These forms can sometimes commit you to receive information and advertising which is noted in the small print.
- Send the word STOP – if you are receiving unwanted text message spam, text the word STOP in response. This is the most common way to opt out of a service.
- Phone the company and ask them to stop the messages – try using directory assistance or the internet to look up the name of the company sending you the text message spam. Then call the company and ask that they stop sending you messages.
- Delete text message spam – a growing number of Telstra customers are reporting text message spam messages that encourage the reader to call an expensive premium number such as a 1900 or international number. Delete these messages immediately and do not call the number provided.
- Be wary of companies that promise to take your name off spam lists – do not register with these sites as many are not legitimate and might actually collect your mobile phone number to sell to marketers!
- Be cautious when entering competitions or using text messages to download services such as ringtones or text message horoscopes. The fine print for these services could also require you to subscribe to ongoing messages which cost money each time you receive one.
- When filling out forms, read the terms before including a mobile phone number. These forms can sometimes commit you to receiving information and advertising.
- Be aware that if you respond to text messages from people that you do not know, you may receive ongoing messages that you did not request and which may cost money each time you receive one.
- Messages from Telstra – you will always know if you receive a text message from Telstra, as it will clearly say it has come from us. If you are uncertain of any text messages that claim to be from Telstra, call us on 13 2200 and we’ll check for you.
For more tips on managing premium text message services (e.g. ringtones, jokes and wallpapers) on your mobile phone, visit Premium SMS.