“Your bank account is frozen, call right now!!” This urgent message is just one way scammers try to trick you.
Spam emails and calls are annoying and if you’ve noticed an increase in spam texts you are not alone. We are looking into what you should know about fake texts and how to get them to stop.
You asked Amy Davis: “How do I get the annoying spam texts to stop?” Scammers use text messages because it often works, especially if it’s urgent sounding.
Top types of spam texts people click on
Been Verified tracks fake text reports. Of the top five reported fake texts, three of them are related to bank accounts or debit cards.
- bank account on hold
- debit card frozen
- failed delivery attempt
- contest winner
Never click on these links. If it’s about your bank call them directly.
Steps to get fake and spam texts to stop
1. Report each text
You should always “report” fake or junk texts. Current phone updates make this easy by adding a “report junk” option right on your phone. When you do this your phone will automatically put that number on your “blocked” list so you won’t receive any more messages from that number.
Each cellphone provider also asks that you report spam texts. You can find the contact for each provider here.
2. Block spam messages ahead of time
Check the built-in features that can help “block” spam texts on your devices. For example, from an iPhone go to settings, messages, and “filter unknown senders.”
This will sort messages from people who are not in your contacts to a separate list. Android has a similar system for tracking spam texts. There might be a limit to how many numbers you can block.
3. Forward the spam messages to the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission says you should forward fake texts to the number 7726 (spam). Doing this helps your wireless provider spot and block similar messages.
4. Check that your number is on the “Do Not Call” lists
Double-check your number is on the National Do Not Call list. You can register your mobile number for free. You can also call 1-888-382-1222. Your phone number should show up on the Registry the next day, but it can take up to 31 days for sales calls to stop. Your registration never expires.
After you register, it’s important to know other types of organizations may still call you. Charities, political groups, and debt collectors are not included on the blocked lists.
5. Download a call-blocking app
The FTC says to consider apps to help block calls. These call-blocking apps act like a filter. The company behind the app uses call data or reports from users, the FTC, and other sources to predict which calls are illegal or likely scams. The app then intercepts those calls before they reach you. Some apps are free, but others charge a fee.
You can make money off of robocalls
Two federal laws give consumers the right to turn those calls into cash. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule make it illegal for a business to call your cell phone using an autodialer without your permission. Amy explains how you can turn robocalls into cash. In some cases, getting hundreds of dollars paid to you if you are getting these calls.