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How to Stop Unwanted/SPAM Text Messages

**NOTE: We updated the blog post 03/07/13 with the 7726 (SPAM) info.**

**NOTE: We updated this blog post on 11/10/11 to reflect the Congressional activity.**

CTIA-The Wireless Association has heard from a few reporters who ask us, on behalf of their readers, what consumers can do to stop unwanted/SPAM text messages.

It's important to recognize that carriers are constantly filtering their networks to try to catch as much SPAM text messages as possible so it doesn't go to your inbox.  But those spammers are evolving and changing their methods to try to get by the carriers.

Here are our tips:

  • If you receive a SPAM text message, please let your carrier know as soon as possible. Make sure to include the message, time and phone number.  If you receive a SPAM text message, forward it to 7726 (spells out SPAM) as soon as possible. The customer will then receive a text response back from the carrier to ask for the phone number that the SPAM text message was sent from. Then, the carrier will thank you. These text messages are free.
  • If you receive a SPAM email on your mobile device, file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC's CAN-SPAM ban only applies to "messages sent to cell phones and pagers, if the message uses an Internet address that includes an Internet domain name (usually the part of the address after the individual or electronic mailbox name and the “@” symbol). The FCC’s ban does not cover 'short messages,' typically sent from one mobile phone to another, that do not use an Internet address."
    • There is a bill in the Senate (S. 788) and House (H.R. 1391) which would include text messages in the CAN-SPAM ban. If you want to see that bill passed, please contact your elected officials There was a bill in 2009 that was introduced in the Senate (S. 788) and House (H.R. 1391) which would have included text messages in the CAN-SPAM ban. These bills have not been reintroduced in this session so we would recommend people contact their elected officials to let them know they’d support a text message SPAM ban.
  • However, if you signed up for a service -- such a joke of the day (also called premium subscription short code campaigns) -- there are rules in place that require a company to follow a code of conduct from the Mobile Marketing Association. For example, they require a double opt-in so before you're charged for that joke or other premium service, the company must ask you twice to confirm that you want to make that purchase. If you decide you no longer want to receive the premium service, the company must allow you to opt out as well.
    • To opt out, send "STOP" to the short code that sent it to you.
  • In general, we recommend wireless users to make sure their purchase is from a trusted source before they sign-up for a product or service.

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