In Nigeria, SMS spam (unsolicited text messages) has been the major bane for most mobile phone users in the country. Some mobile phone owners receive as much as 10 to 20 unsolicited text messages, which have an annoying characteristic of clogging up your mobile phone’s inbox. Deleting these Spam text messages can be very annoying and hectic. Some mobile networks, e.g. Airtel Nigeria, go as far as calling their customers at odd hours of the day to advertise their products and services, which can be very annoying and time consuming.
MTN is also very annoying when it comes to SMS spamming, but some of these spam SMS messages can be very helpful sometimes and might provide you relevant information when you least expect. However, MTN has gone overboard in their quest to market their products and services and have started spamming their customers all through the day with text messages asking for one form of subscription or the other; messages from MTN short codes such as 4900, 5021, 35680, can be very annoying.
Glo and Etisalat are no saints when it comes to SMS spamming in Nigeria; just that it is not as much as Airtel, which is the worst of them all, as well as MTN. Glo and Etisalat normally send unsolicited SMS messages, from time to time, which may be helpful sometimes and not so helpful. But the major question is: How do you stop SMS Spam from Nigeria Mobile network providers? The answer may not be as simple as most people suggest.
You may have unconsciously asked for Spam
There are cheaper ways of reaching clients with information relating to products and services. Some of them include WEB SMS gateways, portals, and short number services. Most email service providers come with facilities that allow email account holders forward designated spam email messages to SPAM folders, but it’s practically impossible to do that for mobile phones.
I. Subscribing to news, jokes, jobs updates via SMS
Everyone, at one point in time, may have come across text messages inviting you to get news, jokes, or jobs delivered via SMS for some fee which may range from N50 to N100 per week or subscription. Most times their SMS messages prompting you to subscribe to one service or the other and may appear juicy at the start, but then once subscribed, you may begin to regret your actions.
ii. Posting your numbers over the internet or on online forums
This is most definitely one of the ways we expose our phone numbers to service providers. Some software used by these service providers can scan and scrape certain contact details such as phone numbers, email addresses etc. from these forums and start spamming you with unsolicited emails and text messages.
How do you prevent these Network providers from sending you Spam SMS?
Contact your Mobile Operator: Try as much as possible to get in touch with your mobile call center. There are times that these call center personnel are responsive and at times, as clueless as most of their callers. But we should not take their services for granted as they can sometimes go to a large extent in curbing SMS spammers.
Try as much as possible to unsubscribe from unsolicited SMS services: Originally you may have subscribed to one form of service or the other. Take your time to analyze these services and unsubscribe from them as you deem fit until you have been able to eliminate these messages. You can unsubscribe from most SMS services providers by sending STOP to certain codes, which can only be provided by your network operator.
Report to NCC: The primary duty of NCC is to regulate and supervise the activities of these mobile network operators. The major problem is that most Nigerian phone subscribers’ don’t know how to go about reporting their mobile network operator to the NCC. It’s your duty to report unscrupulous mobile network providers to the NCC.
Search for your mobile phone number using search engines: Input your mobile phone numbers into search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. If you don’t find your numbers in the search result, then you are good to go. If you do find it on any website or online forums, try to contact the webmasters for prompt removal.
Try other network operators: If you have tried all the various methods listed to above and the problem still persists, change or switch to other mobile network providers.
In conclusion, these are definitely some of the best ways you can prevent network providers from spamming your SMS inbox with unsolicited messages. It may not be completely effective; however, it can go a long way in curbing the excesses of these service providers. SMS spam is indeed annoying but you have every right to put the unscrupulous activities of these network operators in check.