How to block text message scammers on your smartphone.
March 19, 2021
It’s exciting when you get a notification from your smartphone that someone has sent you a text, isn’t it? That is, up until you check the phone to see it’s just a SPAM message or some obvious scammer trying to trick you into clicking on their link.
How do you put an end to this madness? There are several different things you can try.
– Ignore it. Responding to a text from someone you don’t know or can’t verify not only lets them know your number is valid and thus worth future texts, they can pass your information on to other scammers. If you click on a link within the text, you could also unknowingly launch malware unto your phone that can wreak all kinds of havoc.
– Block it. You can block numbers that are sending you phony texts, but the problem with that is most SPAM companies have a host of different phone numbers they are using. If one gets blocked, they just try again from a different number.
– Report it. Most of the mobile carriers are trying to do something about robocalls and texts. To help them build their database, you can copy the message and text it to 7726 (which, appropriately enough, spells SPAM). This is being utilized by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Again, since spammers have multiple phone lines, this is a good start, but it will take some time to gain traction.
– Filter it. If you have an Android phone, you can filter out spammers by tapping the three-dot icon on your Messages App, then go to Settings, then SPAM Protection. You can toggle the Enable SPAM Protection switch from here. Verizon Mobile and T-Mobile also offer SPAM filtering as an additional option you can add to their carrier service.
– App it. There are apps available for both iOS and Android that will monitor for SPAM for a monthly fee. However, as is the case with the carrier filters, SPAM may be blocked permanently. If someone outside of your address book tries to contact you, it will block them completely, which may be bad if your doctor or dentist is trying to reach you.
– Fool it. You can set up a Google Voice number that you can use on any applications or things like membership forms. This is where many SPAMMERS get their information from in the first place. With this method, you would only provide your actual cell phone number to friends and trusted sources that won’t sell your data, so the calls and texts you get will only be from these people. SPAMMERS won’t be able to access any of your personal data.
The FCC is working with carriers to put a stop to robocalls and texts, but it is unknown at this time how long it will take them or if they will ever actually be successful. In the meantime, if you have any questions about SPAM texts and how to attempt to block them, or if your phone ever needs service, stop by and see us at Cell Phone Zone VA. We’re here to help.