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Fighting Digital Clutter: How to Stop Spam Texts

Are you frustrated with the amount of spam texts you receive? People are becoming more aware of how to detect spam, but that isn’t stopping scammers from trying to trick consumers into clicking phishing links and giving away valuable information.

At Text-Em-All, we’re serious about SMS compliance. We loathe unwanted messages and hate text spam as much as you do, so much so that we don’t allow it on our platform

Table of Contents

Best Practices for Dealing with Spam

How to Identify Spam Texts

How to Stop Spam Texts on iOS

How to Stop Spam Texts on Android

Are Spam Texts on the Rise?

Best Practices for Dealing with Spam

While receiving spam is relatively inevitable these days, following these best practices can help limit the amount of spam you receive. 

1. Don't Reply To Spam Text Messages

Always ignore instructions to respond to the text message if you don’t recognize the sender or number. Scammers will send fake “opt-out” messages to encourage you to respond, but this is a common trick to verify that your number is active.

If you don't recognize the sender or the number, you should ignore instructions to text "STOP" to prevent future texts. While it may be tempting to reply with a strongly worded message asking the sender to stop, this is a common ploy to verify that your number is actively in use. Never dial call-back numbers, either.

2. Block the Sender

One of the easiest ways to stop scammers is to block the number. The sections below detail how to block spam messages on iOS and Android devices.

Certain carriers like Verizon's Call Filter, AT&T's Call Protect, and T-Mobile's Scam Shield may also have spam-blocking capabilities. Most are free, though you may need to pay for advanced capabilities.

3. Forward Texts to 7726

Forwarding the message to 7726 (SPAM) will notify your carrier so they can investigate.

4. Use Anti-Spam Apps

If you have a smartphone, you can download apps such as Nomorobo and Robokiller to prevent spam. Search your app store, and you'll see many options come up. 

5. Protect Your Information

Treat your personal information, including your phone numbers, as your most valuable treasure. Only give your number out to people you know. 

4 Ways to Identify Spam Texts

Spam texts are often more than just annoying; many are dangerous. As such, you must be able to quickly identify them to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack. Here are four ways to identify spam text messages: 

1. No Sender Information

Many spam texts do not contain any sender information. It’s a best practice to include your name or business name and state why they’re reaching out in the message. If a message is relatively cryptic and includes a link to “more information,” it’s a good idea to steer clear and delete the message.

The first giveaway of spam texts is that there's usually no sender information. Brands and companies that communicate via text will include context, such as their name and why they're reaching out, which is a far cry from those spam texts that are cryptic and designed for you to click on a link without thinking. 

2. Obscure Links

Phishing links are usually not recognizable by their URL. Scammers frequently use or another shorter URL to obfuscate the actual destination. A simple rule of thumb is if you don't recognize the link or the sender, don't click it.

3. Grammatical Errors

Spam texts often contain random capitalization, excessive punctuation, and extra spaces. If you see errors in a message you receive, it’s a good idea to avoid and delete it.

4. "Too Good to be True" Offers

Most businesses also won't contact you out of the blue unless you already have an open issue, and virtually no one will rush to give you a cash award or free products for clicking a link — they're typically after your information.

Examples of Spam Texts:

Here are some common spam texts to watch for. See if you can identify the red flags.

  • “You Have a package waiting at USPS. Click the link to claim your package now [URL]”
  • “CONGRATULATIONS! You’re the winner of a $5,000 cash prize! Click here to confirm your information [URL]”
  • “Your social security benefits will be terminated in 5 days. To stop this from happening, contact us immediately [URL]”
  • “Please verify your bank account Details. You must do this in 24 hours, or your account will be locked [URL]”

How To Stop Spam Texts on iOS

Luckily, these days, it’s relatively easy to block spam texts on most mobile devices. This section will explain how to stop spam texts on your iPhone.

Follow these steps to block a phone number on iOS:
Step 1: Open the text
Step 2: Tap the arrow next to the contact number at the top of the screen
Step 3: Click the gray “Info” button
Step 4: Hit the blue “Info” button and scroll down To “Block this Caller.”

That will prevent the specific number from being able to call or text you, and if it does come through, you won't get disturbed by a notification.

To filter spam texts automatically on iOS, follow these steps: 
Step 1: Open Settings and click on “Messages.” 
Step 2: Scroll until you see “Filter Unknown Senders” 
Step 3: Swipe right to activate the setting

Now, your phone will send all messages outside your contact list to the "Unknown Senders" tab under "Filters."

How to Stop Spam Texts on Android

Stopping spam texts on an Android device is relatively easy and similar to stopping spam texts on iOS. Some Android phones will also prompt you to report the number as spam when it receives a text it believes is spam.

Follow these steps to block a number on your Android:
Step 1: Open the messaging app
Step 2: Tap the three-dot menu in the screen's upper-right corner.
Step 2: Tap “Details.”
Step 4: Tap “Block Contact.”

Some Android phones may have a slightly different process — for example, Samsung Galaxy phones have a convenient "Block" option in the three-dot menu.

To filter spam texts on Android, follow these steps: 
Step 1: Open the Messaging app
Step 2: Click the three dots at the top-right of the screen
Step 3: Click “Settings”
Step 4: Click “Spam Protection”
Step 5: Scroll to the “Enable Spam Protection” setting and activate it.

If your phone is on an older version of Android or doesn't have this feature, you may need to install a third-party app. 

Are Spam Texts on the Rise?

In the past few years, spam texts have been rising across the board due to various factors, including federal bills, the COVID-19 pandemic, and switching the popular communication platform from email to text messaging.

Authorities, carriers, and communication services are working to crack down on spam. However, the best way to protect yourself from spam messages and phishing attempts is to immediately block and report any number that sends you a spam text.

If you want to learn more about how to ensure the text messages you send are compliant, check out our TCPA compliance checklist.