back to article Payday loan firms are the WORST. Ugh, my mobe's FILLED with filthy SPAM

Messages from payday loan and gambling companies have come to dominate incident of mobile spam in the UK over recent months. SMS payday loan spam continues to be a mainstay of UK text message spammers, according to a study by Cloudmark. Although Office of Fair Trading investigations and related clampdown saw 19 of the 50 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't be so bad

    if the bleedin mobile phone telcos didnt flog on your data to any old scrote who will pay for it...


    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't be so bad

      ..... if the mug punters didn't respond and hand them the spondoolicks.

      Will they never learn?????????????????

  2. Great Bu

    Payday loan and betting, eh ?

    Sounds perfect - get £1k from and put the lot on Accrington Stanley to win the cup, can't possibly go wrong........

    1. Irongut

      Re: Payday loan and betting, eh ?

      Accrington Stanley? Who are they?

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: Payday loan and betting, eh ?

        Should we ask Ian Rush?

      2. Spook

        Re: Payday loan and betting, eh ?


      3. Kubla Cant

        Re: Payday loan and betting, eh ?

        Accrington Stanley? Who are they?

        I bet there aren't many of you who can claim to have been to an Accrington Stanley match. I can. They played Hartlepool United at home. They lost.

        And that was the end of my interest in football.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Payday loan and betting, eh ?

      I've obviously been outside the UK too long, I know who Accrington Stanley are, but I never had any SMS spam and I don't know what Payday loan is...

      The only SMS spam I get, here in Germany, is from the telco itself, offering special offers. I rang their helpdesk at 4 in the morning, after receiving an SMS about being able to upgrade my contract! They seem to use the "quiet" times to send out their promotional spam, which is great if you turn off the mobile at night, not so good if you are using it as an alarm clock or are on call.

      I told them I was on call and leapt out of bed, because I thought it was an emergency and if they EVER did anything like that again, I'd cancel my employers contract with them and look for another provider for our mobile coverage. They put me on their no-spam list and I never got another promotional spam from them.

  3. John McGhie

    I told my Telco I would cancel if I got another Spam.

    Since then: I have had two Spams. I switched telco after the second one (kept the same number: moved from Vodaphone to Telstra.

    No spams since then (about 8 years ago). They can stop them if they want to. You just have to make them want to :-)

    1. 080

      Re: I told my Telco I would cancel if I got another Spam.

      When o2 spammed me in the middle of the night while abroad I just threatened to do the same for their Chief exec, it stopped.

  4. Idocrase

    I just forward all spam messages to 7726, or 87726 for Vodafone. I don't get many as it is, and the spam numbers get blacklisted off the network.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      I tried that on Orange, but it is a bit more effort than merely forwarding the message, since doing that doesn't attach the number from which the spam originated.

  5. TheProf

    They did what?

    "The Premiership is back! Get up to £50 FREE BET on the weekends Football with [REDACTED]. Click [REDACTED] Today! text STOP to 66644 to opt-out [sic]"

    These people sent a txt with "[sic]" as the last word? Oh, they didn't. So why have you put "[sic]" inside the quotation marks?

    1. Gav

      Re: They did what?

      Because if it was outside the quotes you wouldn't no which part of inside the quotes was being 'sicced' (which is "opt-out", because we all know this is the exact opposite of what would happen).

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: They did what?

      You put [sic] in a quote to point out to pedantic grammar nazis that you are aware there is an error, but it is not you that made the error, you are quoting an error made by someone else.

      In this case they mis typed "sign up for lots more spam" as "opt-out".

  6. Nuke


    Watching the telly (the channels and times when I tend to), about half the adverts are for betting. It amazes me that so many people (who tend to be the less wealthy) find the cash to bet when there are rising energy bills to pay, or that such adverts are not banned as a social and economic evil. I understand that they *are* banned in the Land of the Free even.

    Interestingly though, it is possible to argue that gambling is a good strategy for the poor. It is maybe the only route by which they might become rich or even comfortably off, even though they far more likely to become even poorer and fall (further?) back on Social Security. But I am not sure the poor work out strategy in that way.

    Prime time TV adverts are more for insurance, which is also gambling of course - of the form "I bet I will have a nasty accident".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gambling

      "Interestingly though, it is possible to argue that gambling is a good strategy for the poor"

      No, it isn't a good strategy, precisely because on the whole it makes the poor poorer. It wasn't even a good strategy for the few lucky winners, because the outcome was very unlikely, and a good strategy is not hoping for a one in a million chance outcome.

      If they had a strategy for betting (then over and above "don't bother"), it would favour buying premium bonds, because the cash value of the bond isn't at risk, unlike a stake on the 3.30 at Kempton. That way they've still got exposure to the "snowball in hell" chance of a life changing win, but the costs of participation are the lost interest, of perhaps 1-2% annually of the stake, rather than 100% of the stake immediately.

      1. Nuke

        Re: Gambling

        I wrote :- "Interestingly though, it is possible to argue that gambling is a good strategy for the poor"

        Ledswinger replied :- "No, it isn't a good strategy, precisely because on the whole it makes the poor poorer."

        I wasn't advocating that the poor should gamble! It is more like a thought experiment. Here is another way of expressing it. Suppose the World is soon to end and someone is offering a seats on an escape vessel for £half-a-million. But you have only £1000, so if you do nothing you are going to die. Your best strategy is to place a bet on a horse at 500:1 odds. It would be pointless to back the 4:1 favourite. The 500:1 will probably lose but you might as well die with £0 as with £1000, and there is a chance the horse might win. Only a slight chance, but better than your chances when the asteriod strikes

        I believe that the poor gambler subconciously thinks this way. He thinks his life on £30 per week is crap, but even if he spends £10 of it gambling, life on the remaining £20 is the same crap anyway. So he might as well spend the £10 and get the chance of winning thousands, no matter how remote that chance is.

    2. Tapeador

      Re: Gambling

      There are frequent prime time TV adverts for non-mandatory forms of insurance? I find that hard to believe.

      As for "the poor", gambling is not the only way out of poverty, we are not living in the third world, there are jobs, there is entrepreneurship, there is training, there is initiative and autonomy and freedom, there is a £140 per week minimum pension guarantee, and where people are so disabled that the former options aren't realistic, then the state ensures they have a higher income and quality of life than they would otherwise.

      Granted, some fall between the cracks, and this isn't the most satisfactory setup in many ways, however, gambling is still a route to more poverty for everyone who does it, including the winners, partly because they're not statistically trained (if they were they wouldn't bother in the first place), and partly because most of them are addicts who studies show aren't looking for a win but to lose, that's the payoff, and they don't stop until all their money and assets are gone.

  7. Elmer Phud

    Bookies and Sharks

    Well, it doesn't sound much different from daytime TV.

    Stuffed with ads to get you to spunk your money away and ads to borrow more money to replace that you've just lost.

    Plus ads that don't tell you that the claim you made will be tiny compared to the costs they 'recover' for themselves.

  8. Jamie Jones Silver badge


    I've NEVER had a single spam text or phone call...


    1. vagabondo

      Re: Paaah

      Then you need to buy a phone.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Paaah

        " Then you need to buy a phone."

        Damnit! I knew I must have been doing something wrong!

  9. Gav

    My phone number is so last year!

    I don't get payday or betting spam. I'm still getting PPI and "you've had an accident" junk.

    I'm behind the times, I'm not sure if I feel insulted or not.

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      "I'm still getting PPI and "you've had an accident" junk"

      Have you considered upgrading your handset?

      1. Number6

        Re: "I'm still getting PPI and "you've had an accident" junk"

        Funny you should say that, I've got an old Nokia 6210 with a PAYG SIM in it and that gets loads of this sort of junk. It sits on my desk and I often discover it's missed a call or has received a spam text. I've taken to answering the phone and leaving it on the desk for a few minutes on the rare occasion I'm around when a junk call arrives.

  10. Unicornpiss


    I can't even tell you how many messages I've gotten on my answering machine to the tune of: "This is your second and final warning to lower your credit card bill!" (I do not carry a balance on my cards for the record) These people make algae look highly evolved. I think everyone should have a reverse 800 service when it comes to ads like these--if you want to spam me, go for it, but it should cost you something per call, payable to me. Same goes for emails-- a few pennies per spam sent would be fair, while email for personal and legitimate business use could remain free.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: @#$!!

      Send them an invoice.

      I've heard of people trying that, not sure whether it would actually get paid and I've never got around to it myself, but it sounds like a good idea.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: @#$!!

        You need an address to send them an invoice, and asking these people to identify themselves is a very good way to make them hang up on you.

    2. Crisp

      Re: @#$!!

      I wouldn't mind getting spam at all if I was paid for it.

      I think that £1 per message would do it.

  11. Irongut

    People get mobile phone spam?

    I don't. In the 15 or so years I've had a mobile I've had about 3 spam texts and they were all years ago. I'm sure it helps that I don't give out my number to anyone I don't know and that I'm on Vodafone's no spam list.

  12. Jerky Jerk face

    SMS spam, 'jamster' wallet rape text services etc.

    All sick intrusions, that, by the sheer volume of spam they can afford to send out, must be emptying out stupid and susceptible peoples cash at an alarming rate.

    Close their criminal empires down now!!!!!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Liberalised gambling: New Labour's legacy gift to the nation.

    I can't be the only one who's shocked about the influx of betting shops on the high street, the advertising of gambling like you'll win every time. Gambling can be a serious problem activity, it's addictive and shouldn't be advertised, certainly not in a targeted and personal manner like spam directly to a person's mobile. If alcohol and fags companies did this, there would be outrage.

    The government that liberalised gambling were also the ones who made Cannabis class B again because people can't be expected to understand that stronger cannabis should be used more sparingly. I know which activity I'd rather have provided by shops on the high street.

  14. That MrKrotos Bloke


    I'm on vodafone, had a few spam in the past but that all cleared up when I added my number to TPS

    1. Kubla Cant

      Re: TPS

      I'm on Orange, previously on Vodafone with the same number. I registered with TPS quite a while ago, and the number of spam messages and unsolicited calls I get is small enough that it's not worth the trouble of making a fuss about it.

  15. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Okay - I admit payday loans companies are or at least appear to me to be quite a bit 'orrible.

    But shoorli the bigger kwesty-on is: why the surge to use them?

    Maybe it has something to do with weekly contracted workers (that is workers employed on a one-week notice period) getting paid monthly in arrears?

    Why, just bear with me a moment or two longer, that would mean that a new employee might have to work for about three months after starting the new job to be relatively in tune with their income wouldn't it?

    Hence: new term: misanthropic social practice.

    Suppose new employees on a one-week notice type contract were actually paid on a weekly basis - imagine that.

    Revolutionary isn't it?

  16. phuzz Silver badge


    I get a bunch of spam txts and the odd call and it's all about PPI claims.

    Surely not enough people bought PPI in the first place to be miss-sold it, to make it worthwhile trying to cash in on claiming it?

    And can't you claim compensation yourself, rather than needing an outside company to do it?

  17. Martin-73 Silver badge

    I'd be tempted to take out the payday loan, then just not pay it back, just to spite them (I have a sh*t credit record anyway thanks to a certain former building society and [long rant redacted])

  18. William Donelson

    imho, the single best feature ever is in iOS 7

    The ability to block callers including text spammers without jailbreaking.

    This is a triumph, not of technology, but of Apple over service providers...

  19. Sapient Fridge

    Getting your own back on SMS spammers

    If you reply positively to the spam text then you will get a return phone call. Play along until you work out who the company is, then turn the tables by reporting them to the ICO and ASA:

    The law the spammers are breaking is as follows. Note that it makes no provision for sending to a dodgy "opt-in" list bought from someone on the net:

    The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

    In sections 22(1) says:

    "Except in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (3), a person shall neither transmit, nor instigate the transmission of, unsolicited communications for the purposes of direct marketing by means of electronic mail unless the recipient of the electronic mail has previously notified the sender that he consents for the time being to such communications being sent by, or at the instigation of, the sender."

    and section 2(1) says:

    "“electronic mail” means any text, voice, sound or image message sent over a public electronic communications network which can be stored in the network or in the recipient’s terminal equipment until it is collected by the recipient and includes messages sent using a short message service; "

  20. Mr Michael Strelitz

    Free and fast with your number

    I restrict to whom I give my mobile number and as a result get about 1 item of spam a month.

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