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Spam texts are uncontrolled, say all 51 attorneys general

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A proposal to force cellphone corporations to dam certain spam texts is gaining momentum. Meanwhile, there are easy things you’ll be able to do right away to stop spam texts, which I’ll get to shortly.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has expressed his support for a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to place an end to illegal and malicious texts.  By doing so, he joined attorneys general from the opposite 49 states and Washington D.C., who had all previously expressed their support of the proposal.

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What exactly does this proposal hope to perform?

In a letter signed by all 51 attorneys general to the FCC, supporting them of their hopes to require cellular providers to dam illegal text messages from invalid or unused numbers, in addition to blocking any phone numbers found on a “don’t originate” list, numbers which have previously been proved to have been used for fraudulent activity.

The attorneys general are pushing for the FCC to go a step further, nevertheless, in urging them to develop authentication software that might help determine if a text message is a known or likely spammer, just like what number of spam or fraudulent phone calls are listed as “potential spam” on smartphones, because of the STIR/SHAKEN technology implemented in 2021.

Hundreds of thousands of Dollars Were Lost in Text Scams

A report by the Federal Trade Commission, it’s estimated that US cellphone users lost a collective $131 million in consequence of fraudulent text messages in 2021, namely from texts which included phishing links, or downloads for malware and other harmful software.

The best way to look out for Spam Texts

What makes it really easy to fall for these scams is the indisputable fact that they often appear completely harmless, often coming from a trusted service like your wireless provider or UPS. In some cases, they may additionally be posing because the IRS, warning you that a warrant is out in your arrest in case you don’t pay unpaid back taxes, or conversely, that you have been granted a relief fund.

At all times remember, the IRS or anybody of presidency won’t ever contact you via text message, and really rarely even contact you by phone. Likewise, a legitimate service like UPS, or a trusted store like Best Buy or Amazon also likely won’t contact you via text message unless you explicitly requested it.

Before hitting the link sent to you via text, it is often sensible to ask yourself in case you requested to be contacted by text, after which take a better take a look at the number, which should make it pretty clear in the event that they are claiming to be who they said. Do you have to receive a spam or suspicious text message, follow these steps to further protect yourself:

  • Report the attempted scam to the FCC by forwarding them to 7726
  • Never type STOP to stop them from contacting you again. As doing so won’t stop them, but could lead to your being texted much more
  • When doubtful, never tap a link sent to you by a number you discover suspicious

The best way to block spam texts in your phone

Thankfully, each Android and iPhone will let you block any unknown or potentially dangerous numbers from texting you.

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iPhone

iPhone gives you the choice of each filtering unknown numbers, in addition to blocking them.

To filter unknown numbers:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap Messages
  • Activate Filter Unknown Senders

  • Whenever you open your messages, you will see that that your texts have been divided into three categories, “All Messages”, “Known Senders” and “Unknown Senders
  • All messages from an unknown number will likely be sent to Unknown Senders, and you may not receive a notification.

Just be mindful, this also might include a recent acquaintance who you could have just given your contact information to. So, in case you expect a text from them that you simply have not received, check to see whether it is in that folder. And likewise, if a recent acquaintance gives you their number and also you expect to listen to from them, ensure that you enter them as a contact into your phone.

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When you received a text you understand to be suspicious, then the thing to do is to dam that number, stopping them from with the ability to contact you again.

To dam a spam number:

  • Open the spam text message
  • Tap on the profile Icon with the number underneath it
  • Tap info
  • Tap block this caller

Android

Android similarly offers two services in helping you evade spam text messages, Spam Protection, in addition to simply blocking certain numbers

To enable spam protection:

  • Open the Messages app
  • Tap the tree dots icon within the upper right-hand corner
  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Spam Protection
  • Tap Enable Spam Protection

To dam a phone number:

  • Open the Spam Text Message
  • Tap the three dots icon within the upper right-hand corner
  • Tap Add To Blocklist

Spam blocking apps

There are also several highly advisable apps designed to dam malicious texts, amongst our most advisable:

Nomorobo:

  • Winner of the FTC Robocall challenge
  • Protects you from spam texts and callers
  • $2 a month for every cell phone
  • 14-day free trial
  • Available for Android and iPhone

YouMail

  • Free for Android and iPhone
  • Transcribes voicemails, saving you the difficulty of listening to them
  • Free reverse phone number database
  • Caller ID, which even weeds out suspicious numbers
  • Get YouMail

TextKiller

  • Focused on blocking spam texts from unknown numbers
  • Permits you to create keyword-specific blocks
  • Also blocks out email addresses and phone number ranges
  • Creates separate folders of known senders and unknown senders and junk
  • Get TextKiller

Spend money on a trusted antivirus program

One other solution to protect your phone from coming involved with any possible malware sent to you via a malicious text is to have a trusted antivirus program installed in your phone. 

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Our top advice, TotalAV, includes each real-time anti-malware protection in addition to advanced AI-driven cloud protection, which keeps your PC, Mac, Android and iPhone devices protected against the very latest zero-day threats. Their product is stuffed with features to maintain you secure from malware and protect you when browsing the web, including ransomware protection, real-time antivirus protection, elimination of viruses and malware, a tool to unencumber your computer’s space, plus more.

Limited-time deal for CyberGuy readers: $19 your first 12 months (80% off)

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Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com.  All rights reserved.  CyberGuy.com articles and content may contain affiliate links that earn a commission when purchases are made.

Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life higher together with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech query? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.

Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life higher together with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech query? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.

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