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Text Spam - How to Stop Spam Text Messages

Updated on October 11, 2011
Text Spam
Text Spam

Text Spam Messages

The other day I got my first spam text message. I was pretty PO'd. I am careful about giving out my cell phone and keep it for business purposes only. I also tell everyone I don't use text. I know I'm kind of a dinosaur in this way, I just tell people I'm not "textually" active. The point is, everyone who knows me knows not to text. They probably won't get anything back. I probably send about 10 texts a year and 9 of them go to my wife.

Well it started like this, I got a text from a 435-54. Just a code not even a real phone number. They were trying to get me to claim my "free" gift card. I just paid $0.20 for someone to send me an advertisement! That dog don't hunt and I wasn't going to pay for it...but someone was.

Step 1 - Call Your Cell Phone Service

In my case what I did was call my cell phone carrier - Verizon. They were terrific and very understanding. I asked them what I could do. He asked me some questions related to the content of the text and if there was a way to unsubscribe.

Next he looked up the 435-54 code and found out who was sending me these texts. I asked to have them reported to the FCC and blocked from accessing my account. I was also able to get them to credit me for 5 texts because it was going to take a couple days for the information to propagate.

I also found out this is a growing problem. SMS messaging doesn't have to originate from a phone. It can be done from a PC, meaning you can send text messages from your PC to a cell phone and there are programs that will cue up a single messages to thousands of phone numbers and with the press of a button... they all get sent.

My experience with Verizon was very good and they were a big help but I was not going to stop there....

Step 2 - Do Not Call Registry for Cell Phone

My next step was to confirm that I'd submitted my cell phone to the do not call registry. I know it is not for do not text but at least I'm covered. If you have not done so, you can submit your cell phone to the National Do Not Call Registry and phone companies are not allowed to solicit you at your phone without consent. It also works for residential land lines as well.


Step 3 - File Complaint with FCC

The Federal Communications Commission regulates the airwaves. This means anyone sending spam to your cell phone over the airwaves is subject to their regulation.

The form you are looking for is Form 1088: Junk Fax and Telemarketing and it can be used for the following cases, including spam texts;

  • Junk fax to your home or business fax
  • Live telephone call received at a home phone
  • Prerecorded message to a home phone

Additionally it covers live telephone (or telemarketing) calls, voice messages, prerecorded telemarketing call, or e-mail/text message to

  • a business phone.
  • Emergency telephone; patient telephone in hospital, nursing home, or elderly care facility
  • Wireless communications device (cell phone, pager)
  • A toll-free number (800, 888, etc.) or any other service (except wireless) for which the called party is charged

I used it for the bolded bullet above. It takes about 2 minutes to fill out the form and send it in. Now as for whether it is useful or not, I have not idea. I suspect if enough people complain, they might do something about it.

For me, I'm covered by my carrier and my hope is that more people will fill out this form and maybe the govt can do something with them. Unfortunately far too many people fall for this stuff or they wouldn't keep doing it.

Summary on Stopping Text Spam

  1. Call you provider and get whatever assistance they can provide. Don't forget to ask for credit against these messages. Even if you are on a plan, if you get too many of these messages, it could put you over the limit and you don't need to be annoyed by these scammers anyway.
  2. Put your phone on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  3. File a complaint with the FCC
  4. Other Suggestions?

If you have other suggestions, Please leave them below and share with the world so we can put an end to these scammers..or at least give them a little pain.


Comments

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    • profile image

      Sana 3 years ago

      for 3 hours straight I did this. It wasn't giribebsh, he could tell theat it was precise formation of words. First, has anyone experienced this and second, is there a way for me to understand what I experience overall while dreaming. I have by the way, had a sleep apnea test and went to counseling for a year for nightmares. They actually have become less terrorizing but I still am unable while dreaming to relax and try to fully experience what I see.Also, one of my most vivid dreams I had about 2 months ago, I actually did recognize someone and he looked like a thin but strong scraggly man with long matted hair and appeared to be somewhat older in age yet not elderly. I dreamed about him 2 different nights. The firt night he was trying to get to me to speak with me and I was terrified and ran. In my dream I was running through an old manufacturing plant that had big machinery. I managed to wake just at the point he had me cornered. The second night I dreamed about the same man. I was walking on a grassy path outdoors with a group of people. He was a few feet behind me. I took a deep breath and wanted to see who he was. I dropped back to be walking beside him. I asked him if he was Satan. He said very calmly and without any kind of threatening demeanor, that yes, he was. I asked him if I was going to be ok. He said yes, you are going to be fine. Right up to the point of your death. You're going to struggle a little there but otherwise you will be fine. I actually felt relief and had a sense of calmness for several days.I am a pretty calm and peaceful natured person on the outside but most people don't know how inside I typically feel unsettled and fearful. Just a state of unrest is the only way I can explain it. So this sense of calm was a dramatic difference to the way I normally feel. It was actually pretty wonderfulAny insight or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Tom T profile image
      Author

      Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      @americanwriter - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • americanwriter profile image

      americanwriter 6 years ago from USA

      Good information. Thanks!

    • Tom T profile image
      Author

      Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      @Serena Gabriel - WOW! Quite a story. I didn't know about the block call list so that's good to know. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    • profile image

      Serena Gabriel 6 years ago

      Good info! This happened to me with my Verizon phone a few months ago. I received 2 texts that woke me up in the middle of the night. They came from a company called Mobile Media in CA and sometimes when they send these messages you are charged $9.99 for each one. I went on-line and blocked the number, then I called the company and told them what was going to happen to them if they pulled that again. The state I live in takes No Call very seriously. I sued a credit card company over a similar thing several years ago. Then, I got a call from some place in Canada! Not much to do about that.

      I have an unwanted caller, as well, who is a former co-worker. Fortunately, you can block up to five calls with Verizon by going to their site, but you have to keep updating it every three months.

      I determined that my phone was hacked as there was a rash of this in the month of July when this occurred (like a 10X upsurge according to an article I read somewhere online). They get your number and other data from your apps or updates to your apps.

      As a precaution, I am not logged into anything on-line. I've cleaned out my Gmail account (they're probably just going to arbitrarily disable it one day, anyway, like they did to my Adsense account) and I don't do anything sensitive on-line - no banking, no tweeting, no checking e-mails, making purchases, etc. And, I have only a handful of trusted apps. (I think I picked up the hacker from something that looked like Talking Tom because it happened right after I downloaded it. Some hacker apps masquerade very convincingly as legit ones. I cannot be sure of this, though.)

    • Tom T profile image
      Author

      Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      @GFL - Thanks for stopping by. I'm not a big fan either.

    • GlutenFreeLiving profile image

      GlutenFreeLiving 6 years ago from Australia

      Very handy information. I hate getting unwanted messages and sometimes they just keep sending them.

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