Latest research has shown that 66% of UK mobile phone users have been victims of spam, with the number of 18 to 24 year olds targeted as high as 75% - the highest percentage of any age category.
Cloudmark, the global leader in carrier-grade messaging security, commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey into the current state of mobile spam in the UK.
The survey which explored experiences and attitudes towards mobile spam found that the service providers are going to be the ultimate victims as 28% of consumers blame their operator for unwanted communications and 44% would consider changing network because of mobile spam. This figure rises to 65% as soon as the frequency of unwanted messages hits one or more a month.
In addition, the types of mobile spam consumers are receiving go beyond simple nuisance messages to attacks designed to steal personal information or trick the consumer into spending money.
Of the respondents that have been victims of spam, nearly one in ten have been targeted with phishing attacks encouraging them to disclose personal data, 38% received a text containing a link to another site, while 45% received a text message that had tried to trick them into calling a premium rate number.
Neil Cook, Head of Technology EMEA, Cloudmark, said, “It’s a fallacy to think that mobile messaging ‘spam’ isn’t yet an issue in the UK. Not only is it already a problem, but when you see that three quarters of young people are subjected to mobile spam, the scale of the challenge comes into sharp focus.”
“Mobile spam may not be in the same league as traditional email spam, but as this survey shows, subscribers’ tolerance of unwanted and unsolicited mobile messages is virtually nil. That means mobile operators simply can’t afford to adopt a wait-and-see strategy.”
The Cloudmark survey also found that new mobile marketing initiatives are already being damaged by mobile spam, with consumer confidence being lost and brand reputation impacted. 66% agreed that mobile spam would make them less likely to participate in opt-in mobile marketing campaigns and m-commerce initiatives in the future.
“Not only are mobile operators damaging their brands and risking current business by failing to safeguard against spam, but new revenue streams are cut off before they’ve really got going. Consumer trust, together with an uncontaminated user experience, is essential to the success of emerging mobile marketing programs.” concluded Cook.
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