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Spam texts are dumb. I could have provided a much more detailed introductory sentence, but I believe we can all agree here. Ever had this kind of moment? “Oh man! A new text message! Wonder who it could be– NO I DO NOT WANT THIS OBVIOUSLY FAKE LOAN.”
This stuff sucks, man. Spam texts are still a relatively new tool for unwanted correspondence, so many mobile users aren’t even sure what to think of them. Are they legitimate? How did they get your number? Did you sign up for something?
A good rule to follow is to always be cautious of any unidentified numbers – particularly ones that aren’t local or have an abnormal number of digits. We’re still in the relatively early days of spam texting, so it’s going to take a little while longer for us to instantly recognize them as well as we recognize a Nigerian prince scam. In the mean time, here are some tips to stop them from hitting your inbox.
File A Complaint With The FCC
Realistically, this bit of advice will apply mostly to those of you who reside in the US. However, there’s a slight chance that mentioning unwanted texts to the FCC even if you are out of the States could help if you are dealing with a US-based spammer. Just head on over to the FCC online complaint form, and take care of your business.
According to the FCC, spam text is considered to be “commercialized”, so if you believe your unwanted content falls under this category, have at it. Texts from your crazy ex-girlfriend are not considered spam, though.
Tell Your Mobile Service
Believe it or not, your mobile service does more than rake in hefty charges and force you to participate in frustrating customer support calls. Most services will allow you to forward spam texts to 7726 (or “SPAM”), allowing the providers to prevent even more unwanted texts from the sender.
This is a very easy way to take care of things, and it really doesn’t take too much of an effort on your part. The only issue is that it isn’t a very well-known tip, so I highly suggest you share this information with your friends.
Make Sure It Isn’t Your Fault
Breathe. Calm down. Make sure that the iPhone you just threw across the street isn’t broken. Put your pants back on, and get out of the neighbors’ yard. They’re watching through the window. It’s awkward.
There is the possibility that this so-called spam text is your fault. Analyze the content of the text message, and see if it seems familiar. Did you recently sign up for an online service? Could you have accidentally checked the box where you requested mobile updates? Uh-huh. Now you remember.
Whenever you receive a spammy text, it’s a good idea to check back and make sure you aren’t actually the cause of it. If you can remember the service details, it’s as easy as going into your settings and canceling text updates. Most services even allow you to text “STOP” if you wish to cancel things on the spot.
Disable Texts Sent From Email
The way most spam texts work is that a bunch of numbers are generated (or pulled from a list of sorts), and the texts are sent via email. This means messages aren’t exactly sent to your phone number via text. Instead, they are sent like this: [YOURNUMBER]@vzw.net. This is why most spam texts are sent from a number with a weird amount of digits, and you can’t reply to them.
You can easily disable texts sent from email by going to your account on mobile carriers’ website. It’s a little different for each mobile service, but generally speaking, these options will be available under your text messaging settings.
Use Preventive Measures
There’s always going to be the possibility of some nasty little company sliding through the cracks and sending you texts that you don’t want. With that said, be as cautious about your phone number as you are with your email address.
For instance, don’t publish it on the Internet unless you absolutely have to. Also – and this is a little extreme – you could use an alternative phone number whenever filling out forms. If you are one of the few that have held onto your landline, then this may very well be a good option.
Companies and scammers will always find a way to send us unwanted messages, and right now, the current method is via texting. Since we’re still in the early stages, we often have to be a bit more careful.
What other ways have you stopped spam texts? What kinds of spam texts have you received?