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Recently I received my first-ever spam text which reads: “Do you need some extra MONEY for the new year? You can easily get $1500 today! Just visit http://www.MyClick4Pay.com to start. Write “NO” to end.”  I was hesitant to reply “NO” to the text because I thought maybe then the spammer would know that s/he had actually succeeded in reaching a real cell number. I’ve also been receiving random calls on my cell phone offering credit at “reduced” interest rates–despite the fact that I’ve been extremely careful about to whom I have given my cell number. What to do? There are, in fact, a number of simple steps you can take to reduce and/or end spam calls and texts. I also encourage you to file a complaint with the FCC — instructions below.   

To stop spam calls:

Register all your phone numbers (cell, home & work) on the National Do Not Call Registry. This is very simple process:

1. Click here to go to the Do Not Call Registry website.
2. On the left pane, click “Register a Phone Number”.
3. Enter up to three phone numbers and your email address. (Be careful when clicking to place the cursor inside the phone number box–if you don’t click at the very left edge of the box, the phone number gets messed up and there is no way to delete or backspace. If this happens, refresh the webpage and start over.)
4. Check your email for the verification email and follow the instructions to verify.

If you are registered with the Do Not Call Registry and you are still receiving calls, you should file a complaint with the Registry:

1. Click here to go to the Do Not Call Registry website.
2. On the left pane, click “File a Complaint”, and at the bottom click “Continue”.
3. Enter the phone number from which you received the call. You should be able to see the phone number on your cell phone in the list of recent calls. Clicking on the number in the Recent Call list often reveals more information about the call (duration, time of call, etc.).

To stop spam texts:

Spam texts are actually sent to you via the email/internet to your randomly generated number. If, for example, you are a Verizon customer, the text is sent to your10digitnumber@vtext.com. If you are an AT&T customer the text is sent to your10digitnumber@txt.att.net. To stop the texts, you must opt out of internet texting in your preferences with your carrier. This can be done online, or by calling customer service for your carrier. If you choose to manage your preferences online, each carrier has a different method:

  • At&T:
  1. Click here to access the relevant AT&T support page.
  2. Under “How you can prevent spam text messages” click on “Create an email alias for your phone in Messaging Preferences” and follow the instructions.
  • Verizon:
  1. Click here to access the relevant Verizon Wireless support page.
  2. Scroll down to FAQ 3, and click on Verizons Safeguard.
  3. Sign in, then click on the Internet Spam Blocking tab.
  4. At the bottom check the boxes that say “Block all text messages sent from the web” and “Block all text messages from sent from email”.
  • Sprint:

Sprint does not have any automatic text-blocking, but you can report spam texts to them, as well as block specific numbers from which you have received Spam texts.

1. Click here to access Sprint’s support page with instructions on blocking texts.
2. Report spam text to Sprint by forwarding the text message to: abuse@messaging.sprintpcs.com. Texts can be forwarded on most phones by clicking on or selecting the text (for Android use long press), and choose “Forward” in the menu that appears.

  • T-Mobile:

T-Mobile does not have automatic text-blocking either, but it asks that you report the spam.

1. Click here to access T-Mobile’s spam text support page.
2. Report the spam text by forwarding the message to 7726 (which is T-Mobile’s short code and should spell “SPAM” on most keyboards). Texts can be forwarded on most phones by clicking on or selecting the text (for Android use long press), and choose “Forward” in the menu that appears.

File a Complaint with the FCC:

1. Click here to access the appropriate FCC complaint form.
2. Fill out all the information that you know. You can figure out the number that a text message originated from usually by clicking on (on Android phones use long press) the text message itself. You may see a menu which will include something like “view message details” and clicking on this should reveal originating phone number, and date & time of the message.

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