Don't reply to text messages claiming you are due thousands of pounds of compensation from a road traffic accident, says a communicatons watchdog.
The unsolicited texts could convince recipients that the sender has legitimate access to their details because of the precise amount of compensation mentioned.
However, when We contacted one company responsible for sending these marketing texts, the operator confirmed that compensation figure mentioned in the text is fabricated and not based on a review of any incidents the recipient may have had.
In response to our findings, a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office said:
'Put simply, these texts are a marketing ploy - a fishing expedition to establish what telephone numbers respond and are thus 'live'.
'When this process results in successfully obtaining of an individual's personal details, these are sold on as a 'lead' to an injury claims company. Lists of such 'leads' are a valuable commodity in less professional marketing arenas.
'In cases like this our advice is not to reply to the message. Often these messages are forwarded by a mechanical telephone number generator. By responding to the text you may be confirming that your particular number is live and your number may then be targeted for further messages.'
Even replying 'STOP' to opt out of receiving messages could mean that your number is seen as live and be sold on to marketing companies. So the advice is to ignore the message completely.