The same problem that hit users of email has now invaded their mobile phones. In fact, it is a worse problem in a few ways. You can’t usually delete a cellphone text message before you open it, and under some mobile service plans, you might be charged per message received – even if it’s spam.
So many mobile phone users are eager to discover ways to block spam. The best and most effective way is to report spam to your service provider. Most mobile carriers have powerful spam detection and filtering software in place, and can track down violators, shut them down, and even prosecute the serious offenders.
To help them do this quickly and effectively, you have to provide your carrier with information such as the number from which you are receiving text messages, and their content. Each service provider has a spam reporting number to which you can forward unsolicited text messages using the short code 7726.
Apart from taking these measures, you can also try to block spam yourself. You may not block all unsolicited texts, because spammers are devious in their use of techniques and technology that defeat most simple blocking strategies. But at least you’ll be able to reduce the incidence of repeat spam coming from sources such as culled and compiled mobile phone number lists.
Block All Texts From The Internet
Most mobile phone spam is not sent from other mobile devices. They originate from the Internet, where bulk mailing software is used to shoot out thousands (or even millions) of messages in random shot-gun style. You can request your mobile services provider to block all Internet messages from reaching your phone.
If receiving Web based texts is important to you (such as when you book tickets or restaurant reservations), you can create a unique alias for such legitimate use. Then all you have to do is ask your service provider to block all messages that are not addressed to your alias.
Then make sure that you keep your alias safe and secure. Hand it out only when necessary. Do not share it via text messages or on public forums. And ensure that spammers cannot get their slimy fingers on what serves as your personal access code.
You can take it a step further with some technological savvy. You can set up an email address which is protected by spam filtering software. Then set up your mobile phone to receive text messages exclusively from that email address. Whenever you want someone to send you a text message, ask them to email it to that address, from where it will be forwarded to your cellphone.
Block Spam Numbers
If you receive unsolicited text messages from the same number (or small group of them), then you can have that number blocked. Some services maintain a list of spam numbers, and you can request or purchase these lists and add them to your ‘blacklist’. If spammers use a URL or email address in their messages, you can have all messages containing that information blocked or filtered out on the service provider’s end.
Raise a Dispute
If you keep receiving spam messages and your carrier continues to bill you for them, you can raise a dispute against the charges and have the carrier investigate the issue. You can usually convince the carrier to defer the charges you’re being billed for unsolicited messages.
Even though it may seem that you are fighting a losing battle against spam, understand that technology and knowledge is growing rapidly and most carriers want their mobile phone subscribers to avoid being spammed. The resources of huge corporations are being devoted to combating the problem, and hopefully a time will soon arrive when cellphone users won’t have to worry about spam on their mobile devices.