Scammers and con artists will use whatever tools are at their disposal to steal information, money, or both. This means that, although most brands and SMS software providers do everything they can to prevent text message marketing spam and abide by TCPA regulations, unfortunately, a few bad actors keep text message scams alive and well.
Types of Text Message Spam
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has outlined the most common tactics scammers use on their website, which includes false credit card or coupon messages, false bank notifications, and fake package delivery notifications.
These text messages typically ask recipients to provide some form of personal information—such as PIN codes, account numbers, or social security numbers—which is how scammers get what they want.
How to Report Text Message Spam
Fortunately, there are some clear actions that you as a consumer can take to counter and report text message spam.
Step 1: Assess Suspect Messages
The first step is to recognize the message; if you aren’t expecting any form of messaging—and especially if the messaging you receive has a strange link or is asking for personal information—then the message is likely a scam.
From there, you have a few options.
Step 2: Filter or Block Unknown Senders
Some phones have the option to filter and block messages from unknown senders. These options will vary between brands like Android and iPhone.
Step 3: Check With Your Wireless Provider
Next, you should consider what options are available through your wireless provider; you can check the CTIA website to learn which providers offer what kinds of solutions.
There are also an array of spam-blocking phone apps for your use. The CTIA also keeps a list of those apps on their website.
Step 4: Report Text Message Spam
The final step you can take to counter text message scammers is to report them. There are two primary ways to do this.
File an FTC complaint.
You can file a report or a complaint via the FTC website.
Forward the text message spam to code 7726.
The GSMA Spam Reporting Service analyzes SMS traffic and aggregates reports of misuse submitted by mobile subscribers. All you have to do is forward the text message spam to the short code 7726, which spells “SPAM” on a mobile phone.
Each participating mobile operator receives reports with data on misuse patterns, volumes and top originators of spam, both regionally and worldwide. This is great news, especially after our text message spam statistics show that 68% of consumers have received text message spam on their mobile phones.
Text message scams are irritating, disruptive, and potentially dangerous; learning how to spot and report them is important. If you’re interested in learning more about SMS messaging, text message marketing, or other forms of communication, check out the articles below: