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Avast Academy Security Other Threats How to Stop Spam Text Messages (SMS)

How to Stop Spam Text Messages (SMS)

Though they’re mostly just maddening, spam messages can be dangerous if they include malicious attachments or are hiding malware. Wondering how to stop spam texts? Read on to learn how to block texts and stop spam in its tracks with our comprehensive guide.

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What is a spam message?

A spam message is any unrequested communication, often sent en masse via the internet or an electronic messaging service. On mobile, the most obvious types of unwanted text messages are unrecognized numbers and robo-texts sent by auto-dialers, often promoting a product or service.

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    Of course, spammers don’t stop at SMS. Spam messages can take other forms, including phone calls from spam phone numbers, not to mention all the spam emails that inundate our inboxes daily. Most spam messages are harmless, and filtering out spam is relatively simple. But while most spam messages won’t pose a threat in terms of theft, malware, or the supposed phone virus, phishing attacks certainly do.

    What is a phishing text message?

    Compared to typical spam that simply advertises an offer or service, phishing text messages are scams meant to fool you into providing sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, or credit card info. Phishing texts can be easily mistaken for spam, because they’re often sent to multiple users at once.

    But instead of promoting a product, phishing attacks aim to steal your data or dupe you into installing malicious software.

    How to block unwanted texts

    Ready to rid your inbox of scam text messages? With a few simple steps, you can block text messages from random numbers for good, as well as reduce your accessibility to spam phone numbers. We’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts to reduce your appeal to would-be spammers. Here’s how to stop spam text messages:

    1. Don’t respond: By ignoring spam texts when you see them, you communicate to the sender that your phone number is not a receptive target, forcing them to find an audience elsewhere.

    2. Do block numbers: As simple as it seems, blocking a known spam number can help cut off the sender’s line of communication (though many spammers can spoof countless new phone numbers). Thankfully, blocking spam texts is equally effective on both iPhones and Android devices.

    3. Do report spam messages to your mobile network provider: Scammers are getting smarter, but so are mobile service providers. By reporting suspicious or spam messages to your carrier, you help prevent similar texting scams in the future.

    4. Do use spam-blocking apps: Installing a spam blocker on your mobile device prevents annoying robocalls and texts while adding an extra layer of data security. If you’re an iOS user, jump down to our list of the best text blocking apps for iPhone. If you’re on Android, skip ahead to our roundup of the best text blocking apps for Android

    5. Don’t click on links in messages you receive: Strange links can lead to malicious websites that steal your data, run up your mobile bill, or infect your device with malware. Don’t click.

    6. Do protect your personal info: Legitimate companies won’t ask for sensitive personal information, such as account passwords or government identification numbers. Keep this data to yourself.

    7. Do review your mobile bill regularly: Some mobile scams force your phone to call or text premium numbers, thereby running up your bill. Review your mobile statements and look for any unusually high charges or unexpected data usage.

    8. Do use your phone’s built-in spam-blocking features: Check your phone’s privacy and security settings and use caller blocking, spam filters, and other anti-spam controls.

    How to block spam texts on Android

    When you see a likely spam text on your Android device, the question is: How do you keep the caller from contacting you again? Your first line of defense is to simply block spam texts. Here’s how to block unwanted texts on your Android phone:

    1. Step 1: Open your messaging app and find the text you want to block. Then, select the three-dot icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

      select the three-dot icon from the message thread you'd like to block.
    2. Step 2: Tap the Block number option and confirm your decision in the pop-up.

      select the "block" number option and confirm your choice in the pop-up box.

    While the above blocking process is similar across most Android devices, call and text blocking may vary depending on your Android version. This also applies if you’ve installed a separate calling or messaging app on your Android device.

    Best text blocking apps for Android

    For an extra layer of spam security, use an Android app to block text messages. With functionality ranging from call silencing to spam recognition, our list of the best text blockers for Android has something for everyone. And for extra protection against the spam nuisance, try an ad blocker for Android as well.

    Calls Blacklist

    A complete call and SMS message blocking app, Calls Blacklist lets you block calls and text messages from both unknown and private numbers. You can also eliminate potential disturbances by eliminating call notifications altogether. 

    • Lightweight: Calls Blacklist takes up less than 1 MB of space. 

    • Completely customizable: Recognize and block numbers with the same first digits, and adjust other settings. 

    • Create a custom schedule: Lock your phone down at a time of your choosing.

    Key Messages

    An award-winning text message blocker for Android, the AI-driven Key Messages automatically blocks spam messages from unknown senders. 

    • Fully MMS-compatible: Send multimedia content with ease. 

    • Streamlined screening: Block SMS messages based on categories you choose. 

    • Keep your copies: Backup your data to your Google Drive account.

    Call Control

    A full-featured call and SMS blocker for Android, Call Control automatically recognizes and blocks both spam calls and spam SMS messages. 

    • Incognito mode: Opt to hide incoming calls and messages automatically. 

    • Take full control: Create personalized blacklists. 

    • Smart screening: Automatically denies all confirmed and probable spam contacts.

    How to block spam texts on iPhone

    If you’re staring at yet another iPhone spam text, your choice is simple: block the spammer. By immediately stopping spam texts to your iPhone, you eliminate the caller’s chain of communication and make yourself less susceptible to future attacks.

    Block spam texts from the Messaging App

    Ready to stop spamming at the source? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to block spam messages and unwanted texts on your iPhone:

    1. Step 1: Open the text message chat thread.

    2. Step 2: Tap the name of the sender, then select the Info icon at the top of the text screen.

      open the spam thread, then select "info" at the top of the screen.
    3. Step 3: At the bottom of the page, select the Block this Caller option, highlighted in red.

      from the contact info page, scroll to the bottom and select "block this caller."

    Filter and block spam texts automatically

    Your iPhone can also filter out spam text messages on its own. Here’s how to block spam texts automatically:

    1. Step 1: Go to your iPhone’s Settings and find the Messages section.

      Head to the "messages" section of your iPhone's "General Settings."
    2. Step 2: Swipe the toggle right under the Message Filtering heading to activate the Filter Unknown Senders feature. With this setting on, any messages you receive from unknown numbers will be collected in a separate list.

      from "general settings," select "messages" and turn on the "filter unknown senders" setting.

    Best text blocking apps for iPhone

    For iOS users looking for an extra layer of protection, we recommend a text blocking app for iPhone. Good against every flavor of spam, our updated list of the best iOS text and call blockers has you covered. Try an ad blocker for iOS to further protect against annoying disruptions on your phone.

    Hiya

    A feature-rich call and SMS blocker app for iPhone, Hiya identifies spam calls, including robocalls and telemarketers, and blocks them automatically. 

    • Streamlined interface: Easily view blocked numbers.

    • Area code and prefix blocking: Block potentially spoofed spam calls by location.

    • Reverse phone lookup option: Connect names to unsaved numbers.

    TrueCaller

    One of the largest and most-used spam-blocking apps, TrueCaller boasts a 100% free subscription tier, while systematically keeping spam texts at bay. 

    • Feature-rich: Includes both a spam-blocker and caller ID.

    • Community-created: Automatically identifies spam, robocalls, and other fraudulent communications before you answer them. 

    • Informational database: Confirms the identity of any caller based on the experience of other users.

    VeroSMS

    A dedicated and effective SMS filter that puts your privacy first, VeroSMS lets you block texts by keyword or with region-based crowdsourcing data. 

    • Privacy protection: VeroSMS doesn’t have access to your texts, and none of your data is sent to its servers.

    • Customized contacts: Ban outside callers while preventing verified contacts from being blocked. 

    • Unlimited keyword possibilities: VeroSMS won’t let any spam slip through unnoticed.

    SMS Shield

    A machine learning–based spam filtering app, SMS Shield works both offline and on your device to find and filter junk messages with high efficiency.

    • Manual control options: Block specific SMS contacts based on keywords. 

    • In-app AI engine: Easily identify both new and recycled spam. 

    • Frequent traveler mode: Block border-crossing SMS messages while operating in multiple languages.

    Add extra protection with Avast Free Antivirus

    Spam can be harmless, but dubious links and hidden malware can do real damage to your device. For an extra layer of protection against threats lurking in spam messages, Avast Mobile Security is your solution. 

    Featuring lightweight protection, Avast Mobile Security offers real-time protection against malware and other threats, keeping your sensitive information — and your system — safe. With versions available for both Android and iOS, it’s never been easier to stay protected.

    Get real-time protection against online threats with Avast Mobile Security

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