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How to deal with spam texts

Spam text messages are more and more common - from scams to marketing – but there are ways to avoid receiving more of it

ONE OF the Connexion team has a new mobile and has already started receiving spam: here is what to do if it happens to you.

Do not reply but delete the message, perhaps first forwarding it to the free ‘Spam SMS’ service on 33700 for them to follow it up.

Spam texts can range from outright cons to unsolicited commercial messages unrelated to services you have ordered previously.

The former often encourage you to ring a number starting with ‘08...’ for further information – which will be at a premium rate.

They might claim you have won something, or even give the impression of being from a friend, with a message like ‘salut, c’est moi, rappelle-moi....’ (‘hi, it’s me, call me back...).

In other cases messages may invite you to text another (usually five-figure) number for further details of an offer, leaving you unsure if it is genuine or not – like the phone numbers, sending a text to these numbers may be charged at a premium rate.

In all cases, if the text is from an unfamiliar source and unsolicited, we would advise you do not follow its instructions.

However, if the text comes from a five-figure number starting with 3,4,5,6, 7 or 8, if you reply to the sending number itself saying ‘Stop’, the firm should respect your wish to receive no more similar texts from them and delete you from their database. Commercial text messages may inform you of this right.

Similarly, if you send the word ‘Contact’ to the sender they are supposed to text you their customer service phone number if you wish to get in touch with them.

However you will be charged for this at your normal text rate, so you may prefer not to engage with the sender at all and simply delete the text. Before doing so you could also report it to the ‘Spam SMS’ service run by Bouygues, Orange and SFR on 33700.

Texting the number is free if you are a customer of one of these firms. The service states that the operators follow up reports to this number with the companies who sent the spam.

As for how it is possible to receive spam on a brand new phone and number, it is possible that the number has been recycled from a previous user and is already on spammers' databases.

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