Aaaaargh! I’m sure you’ve experience this at some point. The thrill of hearing your own special little tone, or perhaps buzz from the quickly spinning weighted motor…who could it be? Your friend? Your lover? NO! It’s a damned service letting you know you can subscribe to get a horoscope or some such other nonsense for a measly $9.99 a month! Act fast! Of course, they claim sending STOP will make sure you are never bothered again, but DON’T BE FOOLED.
Responding to any sort of spam message, whether it be SMS, email, or even a phone call just lets them know they hit a warm body. Not only that, but with SMS you may even get charged (not for sending the SMS, but for their service). They are guessing phone numbers people, don’t let them know you live! That’s like trying to run from a T-Rex. Just sit still, and wait until it goes away…
But sometimes it doesn’t. This morning I got four text messages from the same source, each about fifteen minutes a part. I was pissed. I use an Android phone so I am able to blacklist phone numbers, but it just doesn’t work with SMS. I did a little research and actually learned a new (to me) and useful tip! First, my research confirmed that replying to this particular spammer not only did not stop the messages, but people DID end up paying ten bucks for their trouble.
Don’t despair! Now, the specific instructions for my tip are for T-Mobile, but there is a way to do this for just about any carrier. You see, what I didn’t know was that spammers are able to get away with this shotgun approach because they use e-mail as the source, not SMS. This means they don’t have to pay for the spam you get, only YOU do. I’ll also take a moment to mention that the fact that we are charged for receiving texts in the US is such a big scam. I had texts blocked entirely for a while I was so annoyed by it, but pressure from friends and family eventually forced me to cave in. Anyway…
Chances are you have a special e-mail address associated with your cellphone account that people can use to send you direct text messages. This was news to me. The good news is you can turn this OFF. Well, at least in the case of T-Mobile you can either turn it off entirely, or if you do wants people you know to still send you texts this way, give it an alias so it can’t be so easily guessed by spammers.
- Login to T-Mobile
- Click “Mobile Life” on the top tab bar
- Click “Configure E-Mail”
- This opens a bubble, click on “Create E-Mail Filters”
- Toward the bottom there should be a Yes/No radio button preceded by “Block all messages from E-Mail to handset”
- Set this to YES and click the “Update E-Mail Filters” button
I haven’t received another spam since setting this so I’m hopeful, but you never know. Also note that it won’t stop a spammer from texting you directly, but that at least costs them money too so is less likely. I hope this is helpful to you! If you need help with your particular carrier give Google a holler! Let me know if this is helpful and seems to work for you. Thanks!
Take back your phone!