Each week I receive more complaints from readers unhappy about being bombarded with text message scams sent to their mobile phones.
Reader Gloria Gori was deeply embarrassed to fall for one of these messages.
"The texts said that someone I knew wanted to contact me through a dating agency. I had recently split up with my long-term boyfriend and thought maybe he was trying to contact me on the quiet, so I called the number," she told me.
But Ms Gori was unaware that the 0906 number she had to dial was premium rate.
"After about five minutes of useless talk I was told to enter the number of the person I thought was calling," she said.
Needless to say it wasn't her ex, but she was given the opportunity to input another number, so she tried one at random. By this time she had spent around 10 minutes on the phone and none of her guesses was correct.
Ms Gori told me that since she called, she has received at least six more of these texts.
"I feel a bit silly that I replied," she said.
But Adrian Harris, founder of consumer site Grumbletext, said she shouldn't feel silly.
"Some very sensible people get hoodwinked and we see this a lot," he said.
These texts usually originate from companies overseas. You should never to reply to them, but you can help to stamp them out.
Give the offending numbers to premium rate watchdog, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS), so it can investigate these lines.
For more on these scams see the advice and information provided by Grumbletext here.
If you have received a scam text message, you can email Grumbletext with the phone number and message or forward it from your mobile. Grumbletext will then pass your complaint on to ICSTIS.
In addition, ICSTIS advises people to complain to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) and register their mobile number with its Telephone Preference Service.
Ms Gori is unlikely to recoup the cost of the scam text she fell for, as UK laws do not apply overseas. All ICSTIS can do is order the network operators to close down the lines they have leased to these companies.
From December, the OIC will have the powers to prosecute network operators under the EC's Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications.
But the £5,000 fine limit may not have enough clout. So if readers are serious about stamping out this nuisance, make use of ICSTIS and Grumbletext.
ICSTIS helpline: 0800 500 212
To register a formal complaint with the OIC, call: 01625 545700
OIC Telephone Preference Service: 0845 070 0707
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