How to stop spam texts on Android
We’ve all been there. Your phone lights up, you get up and walk across the room, only to see a spam message waiting for you. Needless to say, it’s extremely annoying, but many people underestimate just how dangerous spam texts are.
They almost always include something very appealing or urgent and attach a link for your convenience. The big issue is that the link is malicious, and the whole message is set up to make you click it. And even though you can ignore them, it’s better to block spam texts altogether.
Read along to learn all about how to stop spam text on Android.
What is spam text?
In very broad terms, a spam text message is any unwanted message you receive on your phone. This can be an SMS text or a message on communication apps such as Messenger, WhatsApp, or Viber.
Most are harmless and sent to promote a product or service. But some of them are far more dangerous and are sent out with the intent to hack your device, steal your data, or otherwise harm you.
How to block spam texts on Android
There is no single solution for blocking spam texts. But there are several things you can do to significantly reduce the number of such texts you receive.
Manually block spam numbers
Your Android device allows you to block phone numbers. So as soon as you receive a spam text, you can block the sender’s number and never hear from them again. This is particularly useful if you keep getting spam messages from the same number. Here’s how you can block it:
- Open the spam message.
- Click on the three dots on the top-right corner of your screen.
- Click “Details” on the pop-up menu.
- Choose the “Block & report spam” option.
- Click on the check box and then “OK”.
Note: Some Android phones have a slightly different process. To report spam texts, click the three dots on the top-right corner, but choose “Block” instead of “Details” on the pop-up menu.
Filter spam messages
This is only an option if you’re using the Messages by Google app, but worth mentioning nonetheless. It’s the primary messaging app on many Android devices; you can download it if your phone doesn’t already have it and you don’t mind the privacy risk.
Here’s what you need to do to start filtering spam messages on this app:
- Open the app and tap the three dots on the top-right corner of the screen.
- Tap on the “Settings” option.
- Click on “Spam protection”.
- Open the “Spam protection” settings and turn on the spam protection feature.
Contact your cell service provider
Most major cell service providers have their own ways to filter out spam. You can simply ask your provider if they offer such services. U.S. Cellular, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have free and premium options to keep the malicious actors away.
Get a spam blocking app
If you don’t want to use the Google messages app and if your cell service provider does not offer any solutions, there’s still a way to stop spam texts on Android. Your best bet might be to get a spam message blocking app. Such apps filter unknown senders and warn you of suspicious messages.
There are plenty of apps to choose from, so you can find one that works for you and stick with it. Nomorobo and RoboKiller are two of the most popular ones, but take your time to explore the market and find your perfect fit.
Remove your information from data broker databases
You’re getting spam texts in the first place because spammers have your phone number. Your number likely got into the hands of data brokers, who then sold it to third parties. This is a common way for advertisers and bad actors alike to get ahold of phone numbers.
Luckily, you can remove your data from data broker databases. You’ll get fewer spam texts and calls once you do. This would take hundreds of hours to do on your own, but you can use a personal information removal service like Incogni to do all the work for you.
Use antivirus software
Most antivirus software recognizes malicious links and warns you about them. Depending on the software you get, it may also block or filter spam messages. Malicious spam messages often include links that lead to malware. Antivirus software won’t do much to reduce the number of such messages, but it will keep you safer.
Don’t answer or interact
This is more of a preventative measure to take once you do receive a spam text. Don’t reply or interact with the text message in any way. By replying to a message, you show that your phone number is active, which means it will get more messages from spammers in the future.
If there is a link attached to the message, it is very likely to contain malware. Pressing on the link may end up being a very costly mistake. Hackers can steal your sensitive information, or even take complete control of your phone.
More guides on how to stop spam:
- How to stop spam calls on landline
- How to stop spam texts AT&T
- How to stop spam texts iPhone
- How to stop spam calls on Android
- How to stop spam risk (spam/scam likely) calls
How to recognize malicious spam texts
Some legitimate texts include links. And some spam text sent by legitimate companies can be stopped by replying with something like the word “STOP.”
The key difference is that marketing spam is simply annoying, while malicious spam can be very dangerous. So, it’s crucial for you to be able to tell an advertisement from a malicious spam text message. Here’s how:
- Sense of urgency — scammers try to make you feel like you have to react to their message without taking the time to think about it. If you feel pressured to take action, it’s quite likely to be a text sent by bad actors.
- Texts from authorities — hackers often pretend to be someone with authority. The IRS won’t be sending you an SMS, nor will any other government agency. Don’t open any links or otherwise interact with messages that look like they’ve been sent from an authority.
- Bad grammar and spelling — a surprising number of hackers can’t put a sentence together. Scam messages are often poorly written and contain grammar and spelling mistakes. This is a dead giveaway of a message you can’t trust.
- Verify suspicious activity — you may get a text message asking you to verify an account login or a transaction with a link attached to it. Once again, such messages are rarely sent by text message. Don’t click any links unless you’re 100% sure they’re legit.
- Failed delivery attempt — another very common scam message. There was a failed attempt to deliver a package to you, click on the link to reschedule delivery. Only issue: the link is malicious and installs malware on your device.
- Help! — you may receive a spam text message from someone pretending to be a family member asking for help. Call them and make sure everything is OK, which will usually be the case. Once again, don’t click any links or otherwise interact with such texts.
Keep in mind that phone numbers are notoriously easy to spoof. Just because you think you’re getting a text message from a trusted contact, doesn’t mean that you are. Any suspicious text should be treated with caution, even if it comes from one of your closest loved ones.
Why am I suddenly getting spam texts?
If you notice an increase in the number of spam text messages you receive, your number may have been leaked. Maybe one of the websites you visit had a data leak, or you entered your number into a website that wasn’t safe.
Follow the tips above to block spam messages on your Android device.
How to stop spam texts on Android for free?
There are several free ways to stop receiving spam messages on your Android phone. First of all, open the spam message, click the three dots on the top-right corner, click Details, and then Block & report spam.
If you’re using the Google messages app, open the app settings and look for Spam protection. Enable it to receive fewer spam messages. You can also contact your cell service provider for solutions, as most offer some free options.