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Aug 4, 2022
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Dealing with Spam Text Messages and Unwanted Calls

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It is possible to block unwanted spam messages and calls. We will show you how. One issue that many people face nowadays is their phones being inundated with robocalls and spam texts. It has gotten so bad that many people might not even pick up their phones because they think it is a scammer and not an actual person. Worst of all, phone carriers don’t seem to care, giving you so-called protections that don’t filter out all the unwanted calls. Is there a solution? Yes, there is. This article will help.

What Are Spam Text Messages?

Spam text messages are unsolicited SMS texts that are usually an attempt to steal your data or personal information. Spam can be an unwanted advertisement or an attempt to commit fraud.

Spam text messages go hand in hand with robocalls. Since many people do not talk on the phone as much and text, spam texts hope to fill the void that robocalls leave behind. What used to be a place only for friends and business became a mailbox filled with spam, scams, and other suspicious messages.

Spam Text Messages and Phishing

Phishing is a scam that disguises itself as a legitimate organization to steal information for you. One example of a phishing scam could be an email that claims to be from your bank, asking you to re-enter your account information. In reality, this is a scammer trying to steal money from you.

People who send spam text messages tend to be engaged in an activity known as smishing. Smishing combines “SMS” with “phishing”. It is a type of scam imposed on would-be victims who visit a phishing website or answer directly to a fraudulent SMS. Luckily, there are ways to counter those attacks smartly.

How to Identify a Fake Text Message

While text scams can be terrifying, many are easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for. So let’s look at some ways you can identify spam text messages.

  • They Make You Click on a Suspicious Link. Smishing texts involve you clicking on a link, with the link usually looking off. For example, some texts will look like a random series of numbers and letters, while others will try to masquerade as another website, but if you look at the official page, the link is off. Don’t do it if you receive a random text message that tells you to click on a link. Chances are, it’s a phishing attempt.
  • There’s a Sense of Urgency. Many smishing messages promote a sense of urgency to make you click on a link and give your information. For example, you may receive a message from “Amazon” claiming that your account has been hacked, and if you don’t log in through their link, they will freeze your account. Likewise, a text may tell you that a delivery driver cannot deliver a package, and you must click the link to schedule it, or else they will discard the package. The urgency makes people click the link without thinking. Remember that companies like Amazon, your bank, and other organizations will not contact you like this if they have a security concern.
  • Too Good to Be True. While some spam messages use negativity, others use positivity to get your information. A classic example is a text claiming that you have won the lottery and only need to enter your information to claim your prize. This is a scam. Unfortunately, many desperate people believe a text message like this due to their situation. They may believe that it wouldn’t hurt to claim the offer, even if it can steal their info. 
  • Spelling Errors. Often, these texts come from a country where English is not the first language. Due to this, you might see typos, grammatical issues, and odd phrasing in the message. Again, this is a clue that the text might not be from an actual company.
  • The Number. Legit companies use a business number, which is only a few numbers long. However, scammers tend to spoof traditional ten-digit phone numbers, meaning that the person texting you may be a scammer. For example, Amazon won’t text you with a phone number, instead opting for a smaller business number. Typically, only smaller businesses will use a 10-digit.
  • Just a Gut Feeling. Sometimes, you should go with your gut. For example, if you feel like a message is spam text, do your research. First, talk to the company it claims to represent. Then, look up the number and see if others say it’s legit or not. While some texts seem legitimate, something always feels off, and it’s best to vet any text that doesn’t seem real.

Smishing and Spam Text Examples

“Amazon: We have detected unusual activity with your account. Kindly click this link to secure it: (link).”

“Warning: Several lawsuits are being filed against you by the IRS. Click here to pay taxes: (link)”

“You’ve won a gift. Claim it here:”

“This is Bob. I tried to deliver a package, but you weren’t home. Schedule delivery here:”

Most spam texts will be written this way, usually with a link. However, we should mention that spam is constantly evolving, so some messages may encourage you to click for various reasons.

What to Do About Spam Text Messages

If you receive an unwanted text message that’s spam, do not engage or click on the link. Doing so may put your personal information at risk.

If you keep receiving spam texts, there are some ways you can report text scams. Unfortunately, due to scammers using generated numbers, it can be difficult to stop them altogether. You cannot block spam texts from all the other numbers they use to contact you.  

The best way to tackle spam is by filtering texts based on the sender. Both iPhone and Android allow you to filter texts. To filter spam text messages on iPhone, go to Settings, Messages, and Filter Unknown Senders. For Android, go to Settings, Spam Protection, and Enable Spam Protection.

Your phone typically filters spam by hiding numbers from unknown senders. Unfortunately, it is common for legitimate texts from people not in your contact list to fall into the filter, so you should check your filter folder occasionally.

However, there are some ways you can reduce spam texts. One way to do it is via reporting.

How to Report Spam Text Messages

It is possible to visit government organizations such as the FTC to file a complaint. However, many scammers do not operate in your country, meaning the government might not do much. You can also put your name on a do not call list, but scammers do not follow the list. You can forward the message to 7726 (SPAM) if you want to report it. This number works with all carriers.

You can report spam messages to each carrier as well. Some carriers have their filters available and can strengthen their filters by reporting. Once again, because scammers primarily operate outside the country, it is impossible to stop everyone. However, noting it can help bring people closer to defeating spam for good.

How to Report Spam Text Messages to AT&T

The system works 24/7 and is available to get reports. You can use it to prevent threats and risks before they are connected with you. All you need to do is:

  • To send the suspicious text message via number 7726 (SPAM).
  • Filling the form helps to block spam, different kinds of robocalls, and unwanted messages. 
  • Install AT&T Call Protect on your device to get extra protection against potential unwanted callers. 

How to Report Spam Text Messages to T-Mobile

You can add the user’s profile to each line to prevent unknown calls on your lines by transferring your number to another carrier. By the way, the service is unavailable for prepaid customers. Install the T-Mobile app to:

  • Find out the caller ID Name
  • To connect the caller ID
  • Turn the Scam Block on
  • Report telemarketer, different frauds, and scam calls
  • Block all the scams and scam likely points 

How to Report Spam Text Messages to Sprint

Sprint and T-Mobile have merged, so see the T-Mobile section to learn how you can report.

But in short, the steps are following:

  • Report about the unknown sender via 7726 (use the text SPAM).
  • Reply to address 7726 with the number or address to be blocked. 
  • That’s it! You’ll receive the report.

How to Report Spam Text Messages to Verizon

As a user of Verizon, spam text is reportable through Message+, an app exclusive to Verizon. You can highlight a message and then click “Report.” Take the following steps: 

  • Make sure the text message is still available on the gadget.
  • Proceed the action with the suspected Spam message to 7726.
  • Answer the coded message providing the sender’s MDN on the suspicious texting.
  • Block the sender with My Verizon or via the device.
  • Delete the texting.

How to Block Spam Calls and Messages with uMobix

One app you can use to block spam calls and messages is the parental control app and phone tracker uMobix. As a parent, you might not want your child to receive unknown calls and messages at any time. Alternatively, you can use the app on your phone due to its advanced filtering.

After installing uMobix on the target device, you can visit the dashboard and view the call history. Once you see a number you don’t want to call or text, you can select the red button that says “click to block.”

Final Words

Sadly, spam texts will not go away. No matter who you are, spam texts are here to steal your credit card, bank, social security, and other precious information you have. Your only choice is to not respond to texts and report and block whenever possible.

We should also mention that there are times when your phone number may have been sold to spammers. If you keep getting spam texts, it might be worth it to contact your carrier to see if there is a way you can change your number. Doing so might help to give you a clean slate. When you have a new number, do not give it randomly to people you don’t know, as this could lead to more spam texts.

With that said, take care, and we hope your phone does not get any spam texts.

FAQ

Why am I getting spam text messages?

Spammers are targeting everyone’s phones with the intention being that they want to steal people’s personal information. There are many reasons why your number may be targeted, such as it being randomly selected or a part of a list. Unfortunately, it’s becoming a considerable annoyance for many phone owners.

How to stop spam text messages?

Spam text messages use randomly generated numbers, so your best bet is to filter out texts from unknown numbers or use uMobix to block and filter senders, contacts, and messages. In addition, your phone provider could have spam filtering tools that can reduce the volume of unwanted calls. If you’re wondering how to stop spam text messages on iPhone and Android, both have message settings that let you filter any unknown calls.

How to report spam text messages?

You can forward any spam message to 7726 (SPAM) to block and report them. In addition, you can visit the FTC or a similar government organization to follow a complaint. You can also report a spam message through your phone carrier.

Unfortunately, these spam messages are difficult to stop due to scammers from other countries using generated numbers. However, reporting it helps a little.

How do I know if a scammer is texting me?

Scammers send unsolicited messages with a link or call to action to give your information. They can pretend to be Amazon, the IRS, UPS, and other organizations. Remember that none of these organizations will contact you this way, and they won’t use a 10-digit phone number for the most part. Also, these messages tend to have typos and suspicious links, which is another sign.

If you’re still unsure if a message is a spam or not, contact the organization the text claims to represent, having found their page on the internet.

What is a phishing text message?

A phishing text message, or smishing, is a text designed to steal information from its victims. Phishing texts, for example, can claim to be from your bank and say that they need your personal information to verify your account. However, this is a scammer trying to steal your information.

What happens if I open a scam text?

Opening the text won’t damage your phone, but clicking the link is different. Links can contain malware. Sometimes, the link leads to a form where you enter your information. In that case, close the web page. It would be a good idea to reset your passwords since they might have leaked if you followed the link in a fraudulent message.

You should also contact your bank for fraud and your local police office if you’ve entered personal information. But, the faster you can handle it, the less likely the spammer can do any real damage.

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