How to stop spam texts and emails

How to stop spam texts and emails
Written by Mark Grimley
Published on 21st September 2022
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How to stop spam

Whether it's on your phone or in your inbox, there's nothing more annoying than receiving spam. However, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the amount that you’re receiving and stop these companies contacting you.

Getting rid of: Spam text messages

Legitimate marketing texts will come from a specific company and will identify the company in the body of the text - you will have signed up to these although probably unwittingly. They can range from fast food chain offers to updates from your phone provider and will come with instructions of how to opt out, usually by texting STOP to a certain number. You may receive texts from others, which are not legitimate marketing campaigns. Aside from being incredibly annoying, unsolicited texts are actually illegal so by reporting them you can not only prevent the company from contacting you again, but also save others the hassle. You can spot these because they will more often than not come from what looks like a mobile number and will offer services that you don’t need, such as PPI claims or help with the car accident that you never had. Never reply to these messages directly and definitely don’t click on any links, as you may find that the company will then sell your details to other spammers and you’ll end up being inundated.

Three ways to stop spam

To stop spam text messages you can take the following steps:

1: Tell your phone company:

Forward the message to your provider using the number 7726. This spells the word ‘spam’ if you’re using an old school touch pad phone. If the provider receives enough reports they will investigate the company and block the number.

2: Report it to the ICO:

The Information Commissioner’s Officer might be able to do something about the spam, give them a call on 03031231113. They’ll need to know what the messages have said and the number they came from so make sure you have this to hand.

3: Block the number:

If you’ve reported it, the next thing to do is to block the number. The way to do this may vary for each provider, so get in touch with your phone company and they will guide you through it.

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Getting rid of spam emails

Your email client should automatically filter spam into a separate folder, however, from time to time they may slip through the net and work their way into your inbox. As with the spam text messages, avoid replying or clicking on any links as you could make the situation worse.

Read our top tips to keep you savvy and your inbox clear of spam.

Give your email address with caution: They do say that prevention is better than a cure, so to begin with, take care with who you give your email address to. Read the terms and conditions to see if the company has asked permission to pass your details to third parties and if you don’t want to receive any emails from them you can opt out.

Mark as spam: If an email has found its way into your inbox, mark it as spam so that messages from that address will be filtered into the junk mail folder in the future. Make sure you regularly check the folder and clear it out, otherwise you could be using up valuable storage space.

Report them to your email client: Although the process will differ depending on whether you have a gmail, yahoo, or hotmail account, you can report spam emails to your email client who can block them and investigate for you.

Unsubscribe: It may feel like the best thing to do, but sometimes those pesky spammers hide malicious links where their unsubscribe button is. If in any doubt, just mark as spam and report the email as you could unwittingly sign yourself up for further emails.

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Mark Grimley
Written by
Mark Grimley
Head of Partnerships & Take Control Author at Choose Wisely

Mark joined Choose Wisely in 2015. He continues to work in close contact with the providers, brokers and journalists operating in the world of consumer credit.