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How to Report Spam Texts: 4 Simple Ways

Mar 17, 2023

Texting is a convenient method of communication. But, like any other form of sending and receiving messages, scammers have learned to use it to their advantage. A spam text is any unwanted text message from an unknown sender. Apart from being annoying, it could also be from someone trying to steal your personal information (phishing). 

If you’ve received a spam text message, you’re not alone. Americans received more than 66 billion spam texts midway through 2022, up 68% from the year before. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received about 189,000 text spam complaints in 2022 – up 153,000 from 2021.

Common spam text message examples include:

  • Mass ads
  • Fake package delivery notifications
  • Questionable “special offers,” like low-interest credit cards
  • Notifications that you’ve won a contest you never entered
  • Messages from the IRS, other government entities or financial institutions asking you to verify information. Government agencies will not initiate contact by phone or text and demand immediate payment.
  • “Suspicious activity” notifications

Knowing how to deal with spam texts effectively stops this annoying – and illegal – activity. Thankfully, there are four simple ways to end spam texts. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to report spam texts so your mobile phone stays uncluttered and junk-free.

1. Forward the Unwanted Messages to 7726 (“SPAM”)

The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) has designated 7726 (which spells SPAM) as a number for reporting spam texts. Most major carriers in the U.S. are members of the GSMA, including hundreds of providers worldwide.

So to report a spam message, forward it to 7726. Even if you don’t have unlimited texting, this will never count against your plan.

How to Forward a Spam Text on an iPhone

There are two ways to report spam text on an iPhone.

Forward Method (fastest way)

  • Click on the spam message to open it
  • Long-press (touch and hold) the message and select “More”
  • Click the curved blue arrow on the bottom right of the screen 
  • Type 7726 in the “To” field, then press return to send 
  • After sending, you may get a response asking you for the phone number that sent the unwanted text.

Copy/Paste Method

  • Click on the spam message to open it
  • Long-press the message and select “Copy”
  • Exit the message screen by clicking the blue arrow on the top left of the screen
  • Click the new message square in the upper right 
  • Click the text dialog box, then long-press and select “Paste” 
  • Type 7726 in the “To” field, then press return to send 
  • After sending, you may get a response asking you for the phone number that sent the unwanted text.

how to forward a spam text on an iphone

How to Forward a Spam Text on an Android Phone

The process for Android users varies by hardware and SMS app. Still, you must:

  • Long-press the message and select the “Forward” option
  • Your message will then appear as a new text
  • Type 7726 in the contact box and click “Send.”

What happens next depends on your carrier:

  • Verizon will text you to confirm that the spam message is still on your phone. Forward the message to 7726; a response message will request additional information. Provide the sender’s phone number or short code number. Block the sender using the My Verizon app or through your phone’s settings.
  • AT&T asks you to complete a form to help block spam, unwanted text messages and robocalls. You can also get AT&T’s ActiveArmor mobile security app to manage future unwanted callers.
  • T-Mobile: Long-press on the spam message text and select Copy. Create a new message to 7726, paste the copied text and press Send. 
how to forward a spam text on an android phone

2. Report Unwanted Texts to the FTC and FCC

To report messages to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), visit their website.

  • Click “Report Now” 
  • Select “Phone, internet, TV service,” then “Cellular or landline phone service,” and click the Continue button. It will guide you through a quick questionnaire about the message, which number sent it, and so on.

You can also report junk texts to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). To do so, visit the Commission’s Consumer Inquiries and Complaint Center, then fill out a short form with your email address and information about the incident.

3. Add Your Number to the Do Not Call Registry

You can stop unwanted text messages and telemarketing phone calls by adding yourself to the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry. You can register your number for free in just a few short steps. 

Follow the link, then select “Register Your Phone.” There are options for numbers previously registered or numbers never registered. Once your number has been registered for 31 days, you can report unwanted calls and texts. This step is more effective for spam calls but certainly doesn’t hurt if you want to cut down on unsolicited texts.

4. Block or Report Spam on Your Phone

You can also deal with spam texts through the call-blocking feature on your phone’s messaging app.

How to Filter and Block Spam Text Messages on an Apple Device

Apple lets you filter and block messages but not report them. To block unwanted numbers, follow these steps:

  1. Open the spam text within the Messages app
  2. Tap the contact number
  3. Tap the “Info” box on the upper right of the screen
  4. Scroll down and select “Block this Caller”

How to Block and Report Spam Text Messages on an Android

If you use an Android device, you can both block and report inappropriate text messages. To block and report spam, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Select and hold down the message you want to report
  3. Hit “Block,” then “Report Spam,” and “OK.”

Spam Texting DOs and DON’Ts

what to do if you get a spam text
  • DO review unfamiliar texts for signs of spam, like questionable offers or urgent requests for action or payment.
  • DON’T reply to any suspicious texts. Once a scammer knows your number is legitimate, they'll bombard you with more spammy messages.
  • DO respond to texts that you’ve opted in to. Text messages from a business or messages related to fundraising or political surveys are not spam.
  • DON’T click on a link in a spam text. You’ll often be asked to provide personal information – exactly what spammers need to pester you, hack into your accounts, steal your identity or install malware on your phone.
  • DON’T be a spammer yourself! Spam text messages are a legal no-no. According to the FTC, sending unsolicited commercial messages is illegal unless you receive permission first. If you send messages from an auto-dialer that randomly selects phone numbers, that’s spam, too.
  • DO follow the above steps to report spam text messages. Knowing how to report spam text messages is critical in stopping criminal behavior.

Avoid Sending Unwanted Text Messages With Textedly

Spam messages aside, texting reaches and engages customers, seamlessly communicates with them, and provides stellar customer service. So how do you ensure your customers aren’t taking the steps above with your messages?

To ensure your texts are compliant and inspire trust with your audience, use an SMS marketing platform like Textedly.

Textedly provides simple, easy-to-use and affordable SMS and MMS solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries. With dozens of features and friendly customer support, you can be confident that your texts are always welcome and never annoying. 

To get started today, sign up for a free trial!

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