There are few things more annoying than getting an iMessage alert and finding out that it’s just spam. Unfortunately, with so many services asking for our phone number, it can be easy for it to fall into the hands of spammers. As text spam grows to be more common, iPhone users are wondering just what to do about them. Let’s take a look at spam texts and what your response should be (without the need to download anything extra).
Text Spam vs. Call Spam
Text spam begins just like call spam – with a marketing company capturing your phone number and using it to send promotions and more. But if you’ve noticed an increase in text spam recently, there are reasons for that too. Spamming text messages is generally easier and more affordable than making robocalls, especially for shadier companies.
These companies can manage spam texts from a computer, send them quickly via email, and send them all out at once faster than it would take to robocall the numbers. Not to mention, all of this costs far less money than calling requires. People are also more likely to read a text from a strange number than answer a call, giving organizations even more reasons to text you.
What to Do When You Get Text Spam
Let’s say you get another one of those texts asking you to sign up for this, or get a discount for that. You’re now angry: what do you do about it?
First, don’t text back, even if it’s tempting. The spammer would love to verify that a person is actually at the other end of the phone number – this is usually a guaranteed way to get more texts.
Second, you should be wary about clicking links inside of the text. Doing so could install malware to your device or share personal information with the sender. Be particularly careful with your fingers when looking at a spam text. If you do click a link, be 100% certain that it’s from a company that you trust beforehand.
Register Your Number to Decrease Telemarketing
If you haven’t already done so, make sure that your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. This won’t stop all spam texts, especially from international spammers, but it can certainly cut down on them. And you can also report the
Filter Unknown Senders
Your iPhone gives you the option to filter iMessages from unknown senders.
- Just go to Settings and enter the Messages section.
- Here, look for the section that says Filter Unknown Senders and make sure that it’s turned on.
This will create a new tab in your Messages that will list all unknown senders and their messages separately from everyone else. You will not get alerts/notifications for these messages.
Of course, this solution isn’t for everyone, based on how you text on your phone, but dividing out unknown messages can be helpful for many people, and if nothing else it gets rid of those annoying alerts.
Your iPhone also has a Report Junk option you can use to help cut down on spam.
- If you see a text from an unknown sender and select it to see what it is, you should see a notification below the message that says Report Junk.
- Select this, and it will forward the information to Apple’s watchlist and permanently delete the message from your phone.
We’ve found this feature to be a little hit or miss – sometimes it doesn’t show up when you’d think it should – but it’s worth taking a second to report the spam.
Block the Sender
Want to block the sender from sending you any more texts? It’s easy.
- Enter the message and look at the very top, where it will show the number that the text was sent from.
- Click on the number, and this will expand to give you a few more options.
- Choose Info, then select the right-hand arrow next to the number to see its profile.
- At the end of the profile will be an option to Block this Caller. Confirm this, and you won’t see anything from this number ever again.
This gets a little tricky when a spam text is sent to a group chat, but if you identify the number the spam came from you can still block it this way.