What are spam text messages?
What is spam? Typically spam refers to unsolicted ‘junk’ mail, sent from accounts or websites that can mail thousands out a day. Spam text messages are typically unsolicited messages that contain potentially harmful content. The text will try to use socially engineered techniques to trick you into giving away identifying information that could be used to steal from you. Read on to find out how to stop spam texts.
Are spam text messages dangerous?
The act of receiving a spam text message isn’t dangerous, it’s how you respond to the message. If you follow a link or download a file, you’ve played straight into the criminal’s hand. This usually results in the victim accidentally infecting their device with malware.
Some text exchanges can have dangerous content, that’s why you need to know how to stop spam messages. However, you can mitigate that danger by learning to recognize a spam message, and sending it straight to the trash.
Why am I getting spam texts?
Criminals have a number of ways they can target your number for spam text messages. Sometimes, if you’re unlucky, your number will be produced from tech that generates numbers automatically. You might want to check the privacy policies on the accounts you hold, too. You’d be surprised what you may find in the small print, some apps will actively share your data to third parties.
How can you tell if a message is a scam?
Phishing text scams completely outnumbered spam calls in 2021 — it’s time to make sure you learn how to identify a fake text message. Here are some examples of spam text messages:
Spam text message examples
Verify your bank account. This message will try to hide as a legitimate bank and ask you to click on a link and provide your banking information. Many other scammers will try to get victims to ‘verify an account’ on a large number of different services, not just banking.
Pending refund. You’ll be told that you have a refund waiting to be placed into your account — all you have to do is provide your account information and it will be sent over.
Fake competitions. You’ve won a cash prize! To claim it, follow this link and download this file! Don’t fall for this easy trick, sometimes situations really are too good to be true.
What to do if you received a spam text message
- Never reply to spam text messages, even if they ask to reply to opt-out. If you do, it will confirm to the scammer that your phone number is active and they might use it for future attacks or to get more information out of you. Learn how to block text messages from some numbers below.
- Never click on any links as they might hide malicious software that can be installed on your device. Don’t clink on them even if they say ‘click to opt-out’. If the message claims to be from a company you trust, navigate to their website yourself to log in instead of using the link.
- Never give away any personal information. Legitimate companies would never ask you to reply with your login detail or passwords. If you have any doubts, contact the company directly.
How to block spam text messages
- Block the number on your iOS or Android phone. This is the most effective method of blocking text messages. However, this might not always work as scammers might send you messages from a spoofed number and could use a different one to text you next time. It’s not so easy learning how to stop getting spam texts.On iPhone: Go to the text message > click on the “Sender ID” > click on “Info” > click on the “Sender ID” > and tap “Block this caller.”On Android: Go to the text message > tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right hand corner > choose “Block number.”. These instructions may vary if you use a secure messaging app.
- Contact the company directly and ask to opt out. However, do not reply or call back to the number you received the text from. They may be coming from scammers pretending to be from the company you trust. It’s better to find their number online on their official webpage and give them a call.
- Put your mobile phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. This should stop sales people from buying or in other ways obtaining your number from various databases.
- Check whether your carrier can block the caller ID. However, they will usually focus on blocking unwanted calls rather than unwanted texts.
- You can try using third party apps. However, they also mostly block spam calls rather than texts. If you do decide to use such apps, beware that some of them might gather your data without your permission or even sell it to other companies. Read their privacy policies carefully.
How to report spam text messages
You should also consider reporting spam messages and their senders. Reporting such messages might also prevent further spam from being sent to your phone and might help other people avoid spam. You can do so by:.
- Filing an online complaint on the FTC’s page or on a similar regulatory body in your country.
- Reporting these messages and senders to your carrier. Copy or select the original message and text it to 7726. You can do so if you are an AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, or Sprint customer. They will use this information to try and block future spam messages.
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