UK Operators in a fight against Spam

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The UK’s largest mobile operators, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone are working with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to tackle nuisance text messages using a new spam reporting service which allows mobile phone users to report nuisance text messages by forwarding them to 7726 or ‘SPAM’ on a traditional keyboard, free of charge.

This information will be shared with the operators so they can block the senders of the spam and when an attack is detected on one network it is isolated and cannot spread to another operator’s service.  Smartphone users on Virgin Media, an MVNO which operates on EE’s network will also be able to report spam.

GSMA CEO John Hoffman said: “Increasing numbers of consumers are victims of spam and mobile network operators are working hard defending against these threats.  The GSMA Spam Reporting Services provides operators with a tool to measure the extent of fraud and phishing and provides the insight needed to address sophisticated messaging threats that could harm users.  By working closely with the ICO, the UK’s operators are making it more difficult for spammers and fraudsters to target mobile phone users in this country.”

ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley said: “The real-time information about spam attacks we are now receiving from the UK operators is helping us to quickly identify breaches in the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR), track down perpetrators and issue monetary penalties against them.”

As a next step EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and the ICO are investigating ways to extend the Spam Reporting Service to address nuisance calls.

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