SMS spam has become a major issue in the past period all around the world, but in some countries the figures are ridiculous. According to an AdaptiveMobile study, in the United Kingdom, users receive a total of over 148 million spam text messages per month.
The figures show that 14.2 million consumers are bombarded with SMS spam at least once a week. Furthermore, 41% of these users find this type of spam as being the most annoying.
This study also once again highlights the fact that many believe they can put an end to the spamming by replying to the unsolicited messages with “stop” or “opt out.” In reality, this practice only confirms to the spammer that the phone number is active.
48% of those who have replied to such SMSs are receiving unwanted calls, more spam, and some of them have even been charged money.
The worst part is that some mobile phone users (14%) are likely not to notice that their bills have been inflated by suspicious services, as long as they don’t reach the £5 ($8) limit. This means that, in total, crooks could be earning as much as £20 million ($31 million) each month.
“29% of those that have received text spam claim that they would leave their operator if they received between 11 and 30 spam text messages a month. Unfortunately, one in eight of those who get spam at least once a month (16%) are already receiving these levels,” Ciaran Bradley, VP handset security at AdaptiveMobile, explained.
“There is clear concern that unless SMS spam is eradicated, operators will experience significant churn. There needs to be a much better way of reporting spam – with only 6% having reported spam to their operator or a consumer forum (2%), some respondents simply don’t know what to do with it (8%).”
With the release of this study, AdaptiveMobile has also launched an interesting Facebook app that allows users to report spam text messages.