However, the majority of spam recipients are apparently unsure of how to respond. According to the survey, 63 per cent would ignore an unsolicited message, and 31 per cent would try and take action by replying with ‘STOP’. Cloudmark cautions against this, as the action only works with legitimate texts which the user has signed up for, and actually works to confirm to the spammer that the phone number is live, and worth targeting.
Only 10 per cent of respondents knew to take the correct action, which is reporting spam to their operator, by forwarding them to 7726 (‘SPAM’ on a traditional keypad).
“This survey has revealed a remarkable lack of awareness in the UK about the threat of mobile spam,” said Cloudmark CTO Neil Cook. “It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken, as the spammers that run these campaigns are making a living from duping UK mobile texters and selling data to fellow spammers. More often than not, the snippets of personal data a mobile texter offers in the hope to ‘win’ or ‘claim’ a prize is being used by very targeted third-parties to send even more spam.”