Text Message Spam: Understanding and Avoiding

Consumers should always be vigilant and cautious about fraudulent text messages from scammers. Use these best practices to help you determine, avoid and prevent text message spam.

  • Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information like your account numbers or passwords by email or text message.
  • Don’t reply, and don’t click on links provided in the message. Links can install malware on your computer and take you to spoof sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information.
  • Treat your personal information like cash. Your social security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. Don’t give them out in response to a text.
  • Do Not Call List. Place your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Report fraudulent text messages. If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscriber, you can report spam texts to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
  • Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges. Report any that you find to your carrier.
  • File a complaint. If you receive unwanted commercial text messages, file a complaint with the FTC. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also accepts complaints about unwanted text messages.