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How to avoid spam text messages



Spam instant messages are something other than an irritating misuse of your time. Con artists use them to get your own data, profit for answers or calls, or introduce malware on your gadget. Try not to succumb to such tricks. Keep perusing to discover what to do to stop spam messages.



Steps to take if you received a spam text message

  • Do not reply. Replying means that the party sending these messages will know your number is active and will use it for future schemes.

  • Do not give away any personal information. This goes without saying; legitimate companies will make sure to never ask personal information through text, unless they have some third-party way of securing the chat and letting you know for sure that they're real.

  • Do not click on any links. Clicking on any links sent by the scammers would confirm that your number is active. Also, these links could link to malicious sites that will install themselves onto your gadget. If the message claims to be from a legitimate company, you should link to that company yourself through a web browser and through a trusted search engine like Google.


Blocking spam messages


Here are the steps that you should take once you have identified the number sending you messages is a scam.

  • Block the number on your phone. Whether you have iOS or Android, there will be an option once you tap on the user's ID to block their number. Be weary however, for this does not always work; scammers might have more than one number so it is important to get to the root of the problem. On iOS, go to the text message > tap on the Sender ID profile > Info > Sender ID > tap Block this caller. On Android, go to the text message > tap the three-dot icon > tap Block number.

  • Contact the company and opt out. If you know for sure that the company is legitimate, then one way you can block their text messages is simply by contacting them and opting out. If you're not sure that the message on the text is theirs, try to search for it online and calling it manually.

  • Go to National Do Not Call Registry and add your phone number. This will stop random users from buying or other ways of obtaining your number from large databases.

  • Contact your carrier to block the caller ID. Most carriers will do this for you, and they would gladly do it as it also tells them the malicious numbers to avoid for more users as well.

  • Search for third party apps that block numbers. Try searching on either the Apple Store or Android store for apps that will block spam calls or texts. These apps are mostly trustworthy but make sure to read their privacy policies carefully before you decide to use them. Hiya (free) and Robokiller ($2.49 per month) are two of the most popular. In fact, some of the carrier services mentioned above even partner with Hiya and Robokiller to use their databases.


Reporting spam messages


Aforementioned with reporting these spam users to your mobile carriers, you should also report them to various sources as well. Here are things you could try:

  • Go to FTC's page and file a complaint on your country. You can also report it to your provider at 7726 (SPAM) and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-888-382-1222.

  • Go to FCC's page and fill out this form. You will need to select “unwanted calls” as the Phone Issue and then “all other unwanted calls” as the sub-issue. If you received an unwanted call from an international number in a format other than 555-555-5555, you can report the number in the “Additional Information” field on the complaint form. 



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