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TRA gives subscribers power to fight spam

Residents complain of increasing number of unwanted messages sent to their mobile phone

Residents in the UAE have complained to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) about an increasing number of spam messages sent to their mobile phone, prompting the regulatory authority to take action.

Etisalat subscribers can now block messages from a specific sender by sending an SMS with the letter ‘b’ or the word ‘block’, followed by the number of the spam source, to 1011. Du is presently working on a similar solution but have not clarified a date on when the service will go live.

Once a spam source is blocked, subscribers will also have the option of unblocking that particular number should they change their mind.

The TRA revealed that most spam messages contain downloadable files that are actually hacking tools and advised people to be wary.

“…we advice the subscribers not to accept the file; bearing in mind that the text SMS in itself is not dangerous, the danger lies in the file when the subscriber accepts to download. Furthermore, we advice subscribers not to give their phone numbers to entities and parties that are unknown to them,” said H.E. Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the UAE TRA in a company statement.