Do Research Before Replying With Stop
One common method of opting out of receiving non-nefarious spam texts is to reply to the message with “STOP.” It can be a quick and easy way to end messages from everything from a political campaign to your internet service provider.
But scammers use this same tool to trick you into replying to their messages, in turn letting them know that your phone number is valid and one they can target with more messages or robocalls.
Instead of quickly replying STOP to an unsolicited message, take a few seconds to look up the number online to see if a recognized organization or business uses it for text messages.
I verified Comcast’s number, for example, by searching for “text from 266278” after receiving a message a few weeks ago asking if I wanted updates about an outage in my area. Indeed, the number I received the message from matched a number Comcast lists on its support page.
If you verify that a number is valid, reply with STOP to remove yourself from their distribution list.
Report scam messages to your carrier.
What Is Text Message Spamming
In a 2019 report, 39% of businesses said they used text message marketing to contact customers. However, with more people using their smartphones for instant messaging, social media, and to shop online, phone use is only going to increase. Along with it, we expect to see a greater rate of text message spam.
Spamming is the practice of sending unsolicited messages to large numbers of recipients. Because its a catch-all phrase, spam includes junk mail but also phishing. SMS phishing is where senders pretend to be someone else to deceive or defraud you. So, when as much as 70% of mobile phone text spam is phishing, you should be aware of the harm this illegal practice can cause, for example:
- Gaining access to your personal information
- Getting you to download malware that sends your data to cybercriminals
- Tricking you into sending someone money
Laws are in place to protect our rights as consumers and differ depending on where you live in the world. For example, in the EU, GDPR states that all businesses must seek consent before they send any text message marketing. As a result, consumers must opt-in before a business sends them anything.
Despite this, there are some exceptions to the rule. But if you receive a text message from a sender that you dont recognize or havent received before, there are some initial steps you can take:
If You Have An Iphone:
Apples spam blocking is a little more basic than Androids: it blocks phone numbers that you dont have saved in your contacts list and havent been in contact with before, which could be an issue .
- Open the Settings app
- Scroll down to and select Messages > Unknown & Spam
- Toggle on Filter Unknown Senders
Scroll down to Unknown & Spam.Toggle on Filter Unknown Senders.
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Why Do Spam Texts Come From An Email Address#
Many spammers use an email address to send spam texts instead of a phone number for several reasons. First, it is easier to get an email address than a phone number. You can create an email address for free on tons of sites. You can also create an email anonymously without needing to put in any personal info.
A phone number on the other hand costs money to register and requires a good deal of personal information to setup.
Another reason spammers like email is that they can send spam texts for free. SMS or Short Message Service, usually charges per text sent. That means if you send over 25,000 spam texts per day like this guy, your bill would rack up pretty quickly. Spammers are in this for the money so, they are always looking for a low cost method. They use email addresses to send texts because it is cheaper than SMS.
Sending texts from an email address is not any more difficult than sending one from a phone number. Anyone can do it with a standard email client. Spammers use computer programs to automate this process and send thousands of spam texts.
What Is A Phishing Text
Phishing texts, also called smishing, are attacks from cybercriminals to trick someone through text messages. Often these texts are aimed at stealing personal information or scamming the recipient out of money by asking for information about credit cards or bank accounts. Some will encourage you to click on a malicious link that will download malware to your phone. The malware then goes to work to steal your personal information.
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How To Stop Spam Texts And Block Unwanted Messages
Are you getting spam texts? Do you receive messages from senders you dont know? Or maybe youre a business that needs to protect yourself from fraudulent attacks? To help you tackle this annoying and harmful practice, weve compiled a helpful guide that will show you how to stop spam texts and block unwanted messages.
In the era of fake news and increased risks to cybersecurity, you need to know how to stop spam texts and keep your personal data safe. Nobody wants to fall prey to malicious tactics or put themselves at risk of harm. And, if youre a business, you need to gain the trust of your customers by sending legitimate text messages. In this guide, well share how to block unwanted text messages, give you examples of harmful spam texts, and show you the steps you can take to protect yourself or your business.
Spam And Regulatory Issues
Another reason we continue to receive spam calls and emails is because laws are slow to catch up with online crimes, and spammers use this to their advantage. There is little to no legislation from a cybersecurity or data privacy standpoint that allows law enforcement to go after the criminals who enacted the breach or allow users to protect their data. Lazio says.
These are all fast-moving issues that Washington is attempting to solve, Lazio continued. We at Alliant Cybersecurity also see the benefit in a private right of action by consumers against the vendors who purchase the data and/or a big increase in the penalty for the same if law enforcement catches up. And maybe even a whistleblower provision to incentivize people on the inside of these companies to shine a light.
The Federal Communications Commission does allow people to make complaints and has initiatives to combat robocalls together with the Federal Trade Commission , which allows you to sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. The FCC has also engaged in enforcement actions, sending cease-and-desists and imposing fines. However, part of the issue is that the spam problem is simply too big for just the FCC to handle alone. Closer coordination within the agency and between federal and state partners can help in addressing this consumer epidemic, said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel as part of her statement about the launch of a Robocall Response Team.
How Are Spammers Getting My Info
You get spam messages because someone gets access to your email address or phone number. Think about how often you provide your phone number or email address when checking out online, when signing up for something online, or when signing up for a rewards program in a store.
Many of these service providers have been breached, and the consumers dont even know it. There is no way for a consumer to reclaim their info after a breach, and that is when it is leaked to robocalling services for big money, Rick Lazio, former congressman and now senior vice preident at cyber consultancy Alliant Cybersecurity told Digital Trends.
Thats really how simple it is. Even if you practice good data security, theres no way to avoid having your phone number and email floating around in the world. Its just the cost of modern living and convenience.
How To Stop Spam Texts Iphone
When you hear an incoming text message, you eagerly check that your phone may be from a friend or family member. This is a robot text, on the other hand, is it spam sent to you by spam? How hard is it to stop an iPhone ad just to find out if it is another spam? Here is the secret:
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Stop Spam Text Messages From Email Addresses With Third
The onslaught of annoying and dangerous spam messages prompted app developers around the world to focus on finding new solutions to this issue. Some of the most popular are presented in the table below:
Use A Combination Of Tactics To Make Them Stop
While you’re able to individually block numbers from texting you, Robokiller informs us that doing so with spam texts does no good. Recall how these texts are sent from computers and not actual cell phone numbers. What appears to be a sending phone number is in reality a spoofed number. So you can block these texts all day long, and you’ll still wind up getting spam texts.
It’s worth checking to see if your cell phone carrier offers a spam text blocking service. If it does, consider contacting your provider and signing up for this service. Signing up for a third-party spam blocker is also worth considering. Companies like Nomorobo, YouMail, and TrapCall are all options for blocking spam phone calls and filtering out most unwanted spam text messages.
You’re also encouraged to report suspected spam texts to your cell phone carrier this can be done by texting the spam text number 7726 . Texts to this number will not incur any text or data charges.
Finally, you will be able to block a good number of suspected spam texts and calls by going into the settings of the phone. For Android, under settings, you need to enable “Caller ID and Spam” . For the iPhone users out there, go to messages when in the settings tab and toggle on “Filter unknown senders” . Keep in mind that turning this feature on may result in messages you want also being filtered, as it targets messages from any number that isn’t in your phone’s contacts.
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Don’t Respond To Spam Messages
Don’t text them back if you receive any messages from an unknown sender or a phone number. If you directly text those spam text messages, the scammers know that your phone number is real. Spam text messages are sent so that you are tempted to reply to those spam texts with harsh messages urging them to stop.
But this is one of the common tricks used by scammers to confirm that your phone number is in use. They can even sell your phone numbers to other spammers. So, you should not respond to spam texts and take the necessary steps to block them.
How To Block Text Messages From Email Address On An Android Device
To prevent an email address from sending text messages to your Android device, youll first need to create a contact entry for it:
To block the contact:
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What If I Accidentally Clicked On A Suspicious Link On Android
Delete the downloaded file immediately and preferably scan your computer with anti-virus software. If you were taken to phishing site when you clicked on a suspicious link and typed in your username/password, you need to immediately secure your account by changing your password and setting up two-factor-authentication.
How To Stop Spam Texts From Android And Ios
The spam text you receive can cause more harm than good. Modern smartphones can stop spam messages before they disrupt your day or workflow. You just need to know where to look. Because both Android and iPhones have different operating systems, knowing how to stop spam text messages on your handset is essential.
Spam texts are often anonymous and dont contain any sender information. Companies and brands that communicate by text will provide contexts, such as the senders name and reason for reaching out. This is far more than spam messages that are cryptic or designed to make it easy to click on a link. These links are often not identifiable by their URL because they use bit.ly, or another URL that is shorter to obscure the true destination. Dont click a link if you dont recognize the sender or the link.
You should note that most businesses wont contact you outright unless there is an issue. Also, almost no one will rush to offer you cash or products just for clicking on a link. They are usually after your information.
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Tips: How To Protect Yourself From Spam Texts
Dont disclose your cell phone number online unless its essential
Often, online forms ask us to disclose phone numbers but remember that the details you submit can often end up on marketing lists or databases. Unless its essential or mandatory, avoid giving your number out to help reduce the number of unwanted texts and calls.
Dont post your cell phone number publicly
For example, avoid listing your cell phone number on your social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere.
Keep an eye on your cell phone bill
Review your phone bill regularly. If you see any charges which dont look right, contact your network carrier to check if youre either receiving or unknowingly sending spam messages from your phone.
Check to see if your carrier offers call blocking
Many major carriers offer call-blocking services that allow you to block phone numbers from unknown callers for a set period. Several third-party apps can block spam texts including Nomorobo, Robokiller, Truecaller, TrapCall, and others. Bear in mind, though, that using these apps involves sharing your data with them.
Place your number on a Do Not Call Registry
Different countries have different schemes, but in the US, the Federal Trade Commission operates a National Do Not Call Registry. This allows users to opt-out of receiving unwanted texts and marketing calls. However, note that actual scammers dont abide by this registry, so they will continue to send scam texts regardless.