DO NOT REPLY EITHER WAY – THIS IS A SCAM
Another one for the collection.
Due to a new legislation, those struggling with debt can now apply to have it written off. For more information text the word ‘INFO’ or to opt-out text stop.
Received from: +447591298462 /07591298462
And other variants:
Due to existing legislation, those struggling with debt are entitled to know their options. For more information text the word DEBT or to opt out text Stop.
Due to new legislation, records indicate that you are eligible to lower your monthly payments and maybe write off up to 75% of your debt. Reply HELP for info
This is one of many messages that are circulating as originally highlighted in my article Debt Settlement Order Spam Text Message. If you ever receive anything that remotely fits this template then delete it.
It appears that the perpetrators have dropped the “Debt Settlement Order” text from the front after gaining much negative publicity and presence in the public’s consciousness. As you might suspect, no such legislation has been recently introduced. The UK government made no mention of this is their recent budget.
The only thing that vaguely resembles this is a Debt Relief Order (Link to Citizens Advice Bureau), which is only available to people in very very very specific circumstances and who remain in those circumstances for the duration of the order. It also has some marked consequences, which are not to be taken lightly. You can find these by scrolling down through this article.
Moreover, Debt Relief Orders can only be processed through an approved intermediary (otherwise known as a “Competent Authority). These can be found by visiting this site. Note, the company that is touting for your business will NOT be an approved intermediary.
Again, DO NOT REPLY. And, if you can, post the number in the comments below. This will help people searching by that number alone find this article and avoid any potential trouble arising from replying. I’d also be interested to hear of any variants on this message that surface.
If you want to read more, can I recommend the above link. It contains a list of articles that I’ve written regarding this whole scam and its setup. I found the research both fascinating and appalling at the same time.
Are You a Victim?
Screenchannel Television is making a new series about debt and loans and are looking for people to share their experiences. If have been a victim of this scam, or have even considered responding and are interested in taking part, then you can read more in this article.
You may be report these messages to your provider. The following links may help:
Vodafone – How do I report spam text messages? Forward the spam message to VSPAM (87726).
Orange – Stop spam text messages. If you are on Orange and get spam messages, please forward them to 7726 free from your Orange phone. By doing this you are helping Orange to collate information to help reduce spam messages being sent to you and others.
02 also allow you to report on 7726. See: SPAM and unwanted subscription texts
I would also try forwarding the message onto 7726 if you are with T-Mobile or Three.
Back in May 2009, the Guardian newspaper wrote an article Spam to go – the new mobile menace. It recommends a number of organisations you can contact.
To complain about an inappropriate text, call the Advertising Standards Authority 020 7492 2222 or go to www.asa.org.uk/asa/contact/
To resolve continual mobile spam despite texting “stop”, contact the ICO on 01625 54 57 45 or go to www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
For help with premium rate text spam, call PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 or log on to www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/Make-a-complaint.aspxDue to a new legislation, those struggling with debt can now apply to have it written off. For more information text the word ‘INFO’ or to opt-out text stop.