How to Report Spam Text Messages
With the rise in popularity of SMS messaging services, there has also been an increase in the number of unsolicited or suspicious text messages being sent and recieved around the globe.
With over 6 Billion text messages sent every day,(that’s 27 Trillion texts a year) there are bound to be those that are unwanted, or worse yet, text messages that are malicious. This article will dive in to how to report these spam text messages as well as how you can protect yourself from further smishing or spam text messages.
How to Determine if a Message is Spam
The goal of most spam text messages it to exploit or scam the spam text message receiver into revealing personal information about themselves. Sometimes the retrieval of information can seem harmless at first, simple questions about your first name or address confirmation, however any information that is gathered is being used for illicit means by the scammers and thus should never be given out.
This is a similar tactic used with email, known as phishing. Oxford defines phishing as “the fraudulent practice of sending emails or other messages purporting to be from a reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personalin information, such as passwords and credit card numbers”. This definition is the foundation for the definition of ‘Smishing‘ which is defined as “phishing using SMS technologies”.
One of the most common tactics used by scammers is to send a spam text message (smishing) with a link, and inviting you to click on the link for a reward or in order to prevent a false emergency situation. We will go over examples of these types of messages shortly, but for now know that it is crucial that you don’t click suspicious links for any reason.
Examples of Spam Text Messages
- A fake delivery notification for a package
- An offer for a low interest or no interest loan or credit card
- An offer to help with student loan debt
- Free prizes, free gifts, gift cards and coupons
For a more in depth look at examples of spam text messages, check out our full article here.
Forward Spam Texts to 7726
This method of reporting suspected spam texts is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe from unsolicited text messages. The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) has established the phone number 7726 as the phone number to use when forwarding suspected scam text messages.
In order to report the scam message, copy the message you received and forward it to 7726 (SPAM). Sending in the copied message will help alert wireless providers to detect and prevent similar messages from being sent in the future.
File a complaint with the FCC & FTC
The Federal trade Commsission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) both have reporting on their websites to help protect citizens from unwanted or harmful spam text messages. Filing complaints of suspected spam or smishing text messages is an effective way to help protect yourself and other potential victims of smishing in the future.
You can file a complaint with the FCC here.
You can also file a complaint with the FTC here.
For a more comprehensive look at examples of spam text messages, take a look at our full coverage blog here.
Block the Sender’s Phone Number
Blocking the spam text message sender is one of the most straight forward and simple methods to preventing scammers from retrieving personal information from you. Most cell phones have the ability to simple select ‘block sender’ in the app. However in case your phone does not have this option, or you are wary of opening the message or clicking a link by accident, here are resources for blocking suspected spam message phone numbers from contacting you again.
For Iphone users, detailed instructions blocking and reporting spam text messages can be found here.
For Android users, detailed instructions on blocking and reporting spam text messages can be found here.
Register For a Do Not Call RegistryThe final method you can use to prevent receiving further spam text messages is to add your phone number to a Do Not Call Registry. Donotcall.gov is the Federal Trade Commisions attempt at combating the rise in robocalls and robotexts sending spam text messages and phone calls. The registration is easy and straight forward, and if you are not sure if you are already registered, you can also verify your registration. The registry is open to both home phones as well as mobile phones for free.
Spam Text Messages Are On The Rise Video from The Today Show
In today’s digital world, keeping your personal information safe is becoming more and more difficult. However, as you now know there are several ways to keep yourself safe from spam messages, scammers, and smishing. With the tools provided to you in this article, you are now better suited to prevent becoming a victim of scam artists looking to exploit individuals with smishing.
Not sure if you’re ready to revolutionize the way your business communicates? Sign up for our 14-day free trial!
What do you have to lose?