The problem with the explosion in technology is that it gives nefarious characters more and more ways to get in touch with us. Whether it be unsolicited emails or WhatApps that we never asked for, criminals are being presented with a wealth of ways of contacting people that they simply didn’t have in days gone by. The obviously question is, is it legal? If you’ve placed bets in the past then it is entirely possible that you’ve been on the receiving ends of messages from betting ‘tipsters’ that you never requested but can’t stop getting.
In one sense, such things are illegal if you actually never requested them because they are betting spam. The problem is, many of us sign up for things without even realising it because of how often we give our number out to a site or person that has asked for it when we’ve been registering for something else. If it is illegal spam, however, then you can look to various methods of getting the company responsible held to account. It is a complicated issue that doesn’t have an easy solution, but the legality of them remains up for some debate.
What We’re Talking About
If you’ve placed bets over the years, the chances are high that your information will show up for spam companies looking for someone to send messages to in the hope that it will persuade you to take them up on their offer of betting tips. The message will usually look something like this:
SICK OF BAD INFO?
What we are involved in is genuine & kills bookies.
GREYHOUND HOVE 6.58
T5 My Valentine 2/1
FAV WILL SHOW NOTHING
Regardless of whether you reply or not, the chances are high that you’ll get a follow up message in the wake of the race that will say something like this:
My Valentine was beaten by 100th of a second on Saturday to deny us a simple win after being ram raided twice!
Anyone with a brain will know that it was the correct information and incredibly unlucky
We offer genuine educated info both Horses and Dogs
To sample 7 days of our info FREE reply back “WINNER”
The company in question will send out countless amounts of such messages, desperately hoping that a decent percentage will take them up on the offer and indeed text back ‘WINNER’. If even a small amount of people do as much, the cost of the spam messages will be covered, therefore making it an entirely reasonable exercise from their point of view.
Another common trick is for an SMS scammer to tip say every horse in a race. Let’s say 10 horses run and 5 have a fair chance of winning, they will tip all five horses to different people and then guarantee at least 20% of those contacted get the winner, believing it is a genuine tip. In reality there is no tip, you just happened to get the allocated the horse that won, if you now go ahead and sign up for that service you are leaving yourself wide open to fraud.
It Might Just Be A Fishing Exercise
Most spam messages are actually just fishing exercises, hoping that people will reply STOP or something similar, thereby confirming that the number is an active one with a real user at the other end. There are plenty of legitimate marketing messages that you can receive because you unwittingly ticked a box or failed to tick a box that gave the company concerned permission to get in touch with you. You can tell when this is the case, however, because the company in question’s name will be associated with the text message.
Not only that but such genuine messages will give you the option to stop receiving them, often by texting back ‘STOP’ or sending that to another number. That is why so many of us try to send STOP when we get spam messages, but by doing so we’re actually just letting the sender know that they’ve got a real number. When that is the case, the best thing to do is to complain to the Information Commissioner, given that the person will be contacting you illegally. You certainly don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re giving them personal information.
Never Sign Up
The problem with such spam messages is that they are often sent to you by companies that use Random Number Generators and which play a numbers game. They’ll be sent from Pay As You Go SIM cards that are only active for a short period of time, meaning that they’re almost impossible to crack down on. As a result, whether they’re legal or not is actually entirely irrelevant. You can report the messages to governing bodies if you wish to, but the chances any anything actually happening as a result are slim-to-none.
Instead of being concerned about the legalities or otherwise of such messages, the best thing that you can do is to completely ignore them. Certainly the one thing that you don’t want to do is to engage with them in a manner that means that you will end up giving the people at the other end of the line any personal information. In the example message elsewhere on this page, a reply of ‘WINNER’ might well allow them to bombard you with messages, say, or sign you up to regular messages that cost you a fortune each time you receive them.
It might result in you being sent a link to sign up with the company, which will ask you for information such as your debit card details or bank account numbers. Giving these details over might well end up in your details being bought and sold on the dark web, so it’s crucial that you don’t put yourself in a situation where such a thing can happen. You want to do everything that you can to win money, yes, but being in a situation where you end up losing money will obviously be detrimental to your long-term financial stability.
Gambling is already a risky enterprise without putting yourself into a situation in which illegally run companies have your details. There is no such thing as a ‘foolproof’ betting system and anyone promising such a thing is lying. Schemes like that are designed to trick you out of your money when the best method of winning regularly is by doing as much research as you can, having a bankroll and never betting money that you can’t afford to lose. Even then there is no guarantee of success, but you’ll be better off than believing such SMS schemes.