How to Block Text Message Scams On Your Smartphone
Spam texts and text scams aren’t just annoying. Unlike the reminders you get from establishments you’ve opted to give your personal information to, these texts come from scammers that are phishing for information about your bank accounts, credit cards, and other personal details. Luckily, just like the options we have to stop robocalls, there are also ways to take action against these texts. Learn how to identify text message scams and what to do if you receive one.
Text Message Scams and What To Do About Them
Text message or SMS phishing, also called “smishing,” occurs when scammers use text messages to attempt to trick you into giving out your financial or personal information. The good news is, if you know what you’re looking for, these attempts are usually easy to spot. While there are many text message scams, the most common smishing scam tactic is to impersonate a company, government agency, or bank. If you receive a security alert, a message asking you to confirm your personal information, or a warning that your account is being reviewed or deleted, make sure to verify that the source of the text is legitimate before you click, call, or respond.
Pretty Sure It’s a Scam? Report the Phone Number
When you receive an unsolicited text message, it can be tempting to respond ‘STOP’ immediately, but hold off. Although this tactic works for most legitimate companies, it will just let these bad actors know that your number is valid. Instead, forward the message to 7726, which spells ‘SPAM’ on your phone’s keyboard. Some carriers will even block the number from messaging you after you report it.
Whether you’re reporting from an iPhone or Android device, the steps are very similar.
- Open the message, tap and hold on the spam text. Be careful not to respond to the text or tap any links.
- Tap the Forward button > Enter 7726 as the recipient > Press Send.
Block a Number on Your iPhone or Android Phone
You can also block the phone number yourself. Follow the steps below to block someone on your iPhone.
- Open the message and tap on the profile photo at the top
- Tap the ‘Info’ button
- Click on the phone number and scroll down to ‘Block this Caller’
If you’re using an Android device, then the process can vary depending on which messaging app you’re using. From Samsung Messages, you can open the conversation, tap on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, and select Block Number > Block.
If you’re using Google’s Messages app, then follow the steps below.
- Open the message and tap on the menu button in the top-right
- Select Details > Block & report spam > OK
Did you receive a suspicious text message? Do your part to help combat them by filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While doing so won’t immediately make a difference in the number of spam texts you receive, it does help the FCC locate and stop these bad actors. If you need help managing your settings on your device, reach out to our friendly technicians. Here, we’re experts in diagnosing smartphone issues from all the biggest brands. Get in touch with your local store to learn more!