How to Block Spam Messages on Smartphones

How to Block Spam Messages on Smartphones

Have you ever received a text on your phone that told you that you were a winner for a drawing you never entered? Have you got coupon texts from a company you have never heard of? These are, of course, spam texts. And if you are like the majority of people with cell phones, you will find spam texts to be irritating – in many cases even more irritating than spam email.

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Image credits: kiwanja

Mobile spam comes in the form of text messages and like their counterpart, spam emails, they are illegal to send if the consumer did not ask for them. Although texts are a great way to stay in contact with the people in your life, they also give marketers a new vehicle to reach you. Many companies are taking full advantage of the mobile evolution and it is important to know ways to combat these spam texts.

1. So Many Messages

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Image credits: UltraSlo1

If you feel bombarded by the number of spam text messages you get, you aren’t alone. In fact, one report in the UK shows that over 95 million spam texts are sent each day. That means that on average one-quarter of all cell phones in use in the world receive a spam message each day.

2. Be Careful

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Image Via Flickr by joebeone

Not all spam texts are created equal. Some are simply companies trying to promote themselves. However, it is estimated that over a third of the spam texts are scammers trying to get your information. Be careful about the information you send over text message, just as you would through email.

3. Get Rid of the Nuisance

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Image Via Flickr by cogdogblog

You are tired of dealing with all the spam you get on a regular basis. However, you aren’t quite sure what to do. Following these steps to quickly rid yourself of spam texts.

  • Register your phone number with the Federal Trade Commision’s Do Not Call list. Many people don’t realize that once you are on this list, it is illegal for telemarketers to call you or text you. If they do not have your permission to contact you, they can get a fine.
  • Reply Stop to the number. Many of these spam texts have a disclaimer on them stating that if you reply Stop, you will be taken off their text list. It is not a good idea to just ignore the text, since they will keep coming.
  • Forward the message to 7726. The major cell phone companies in the US use this service to help you report spam. This helps them know which numbers to block.

4. Find an App

There are several Apps that can be downloaded to help prevent mobile spam on your phone. Here are three of the most efficient and useful ones available. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to block mobile spam, then downloading one of these apps may be the best answer.

Mr. Number

 How to Block Spam Messages on Smartphones
Price: Free

Mr. Number is an excellent app to help you block mobile spam. Not only does it allow you to block certain numbers and area codes, but you can even intercept and block any unknown number. It has the capabilities of reporting spam numbers which goes into a database to warn other users. If you are being hit with mobile spam Mr. Number is  one of the best apps available.

 

NUMBERCOP

 How to Block Spam Messages on Smartphones
Price: Free

NUMBERCOP is a newer app that is designed to help protect your identity and privacy by blocking mobile spam. It tracks more than 50,000 known spam numbers and prevents that spam text from ever reaching your phone. It automatically updates every day with all the new spam numbers that are found. If you are concerned about your privacy and security, then NUMBERCOP is an app you should look at downloading.

Postman

 How to Block Spam Messages on Smartphones
Price: Free

Postman is one of the more popular mobile spam apps available. It gives the user full control over spam filters. You can recover a spam text if it was actually a coupon or code that you wanted. You can also set it up to receive notifications, create a trusted sender list, or even block all texts. It is a very useful tool for blocking mobile spam and is probably the most versatile app.

5. Pass it On

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Image Via Flickr by thivierr

The more people who know how to block these text messages, the better. As more people add their numbers to the Do Not Call list, and report spam to their carriers, the less likely these spammers are to get their texts read.

Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, you are always getting spam messages. They come in your snail-mail box, your email, and now on your cell phone. Getting rid of these irritating texts can be a frustrating process, but in the end, it is worth the peace and quiet. Until your best friend texts you back, of course.

DJ Miller is a graduate student at the University of Tampa. He is an avid gadget geek who spends most his time writing on anything tech related. In his spare time he likes to travel, watch movies, and play Words With Friends on his LG smartphone. You can follow him on twitter @MillerHeWrote

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4 Comments

  1. Steph
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 20:33:23

    Just so you know: numbercop is not free any more. At the iTunes stores, it is $1.99. Now, granted, it might be worth the price but I thought you might want to correct the post. Is there anything free for an iPhone?

  2. Joe
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 11:39:31

    Really like the apps! I was already aware of the no call list but the forward text number is new to me and I shall be using it! but im already on the no call list yet I still receive both texts and calls although less often, how would I go about reporting these numbers?

  3. Elsa
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 12:01:47

    Really? I had no clue and I definitely need them and I will uploaded them at this exact moment!

  4. Patrick
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 11:36:52

    Thanks for the solid tips. The 7726 is something I was not aware of, and definitely glad I learned it.

    One question I have though is about responding with the “stop” message. I have always operated under the assumption (starting with email) that anyone ill-mannered enough to spam you probably isn’t legitimately using the “unsubscribe” or “stop” functionality. In other words, if you respond in any fashion, you’ll just be confirming to them that they have found an address or phone number with a real, live person on the other end, so they will increase their efforts to profit off of your existence.

    Also, I love the old Nokia message at the top of this article – any idea what the model # is? I had one a lot like that about 10 years ago, but with a monochrome screen with green backlight.