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How to Stop Spam Texts on Android

Spam texts pop up at all hours, promising prizes you never won or deals too good to be true. These unsolicited messages clutter our inboxes, waste our time, and pose a great risk to our private and sensitive information.

Engaging with just one spam message can expose you to malware and phishing. Android users are particularly targeted, given the platform's vast global user base and open ecosystem. This article is your ultimate guide for stopping spam texts on Android and enjoying a cleaner, safer messaging experience from now on.

Image by Nordwood Themes / Unsplash

How To Identify Spam Texts

Not every text that pops up on your phone deserves your attention. Spam texts, especially, are the ones you want to avoid. Luckily, there are ways to tell if a text is spam or legit. Here are some key signs:

  • Promises of freebies or unexpected prizes: If a text message announces you've won a contest you don't remember entering, it's likely spam. Real prize notifications don't come out of the blue.

  • Urgent calls to action: Be wary of texts urging you to act immediately, especially if they ask for personal or financial information. Phrases like "Act now!" or "Your account will be closed!" are common in scams.

  • Links to unfamiliar websites: Spam texts include links that look odd or don't match the company's usual website address. Always avoid clicking on these links.

  • Requests for personal information: Any text asking for personal details, like your Social Security number or bank account info, is a red flag. Legitimate companies don't request sensitive information via text.

  • Grammar and spelling errors: Many spam texts are riddled with mistakes. A message from a reputable company will usually be well-written.

  • Generic greetings: Spam often uses non-specific greetings like "Dear user" or "Dear [your phone number]" rather than your actual name.

An email lookup engine is also helpful in addition to these signs. If a text message includes an email address or prompts you to reply to one, running it through an email lookup service can help verify the sender's authenticity.

Four Ways to Prevent Spam Texts on Android

Now that you know what spam text looks like, explore this list of five ways to stop spam texts on your Android phone.

1. Enable Spam Protection

Most Android phones have built-in options to help you identify and block spam texts. Here’s how you can enable this feature:

  • Open the messaging app you use most often. This might be Google Messages or another app pre-installed on your device.

  • Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner to access the menu, then select "Settings."

  • Look for a section named "Spam protection," "Caller ID & spam," or something similar. The exact wording can vary depending on your device and app version.

  • Switch this feature on. Some apps may offer additional options, like automatically deleting detected spam messages or warning you before you answer calls from suspicious numbers.

2. Block the Number

If you keep getting spam from the same number, blocking it might be your best bet. Here’s how to do it:

  • In your messaging app, open the conversation thread from the spammer.

  • Tap the three dots in the upper right corner to access the conversation settings.

  • Choose "Block number" or "Block contact." Confirm your choice. This action will prevent further messages and calls from that number.

  • Some Android versions also allow you to add these numbers to a blacklist via the Phone app under "Settings" > "Blocked numbers."

3. Report Spam

Reporting spam helps everyone by teaching the system's algorithm to identify and catch similar spam in the future:

  • Select the unwanted message in your messaging app.

  • Tap the "Report spam" option, which may be directly visible or located within a menu (look for three dots in the top corner).

  • Follow the prompts to confirm the report. This can vary but usually involves confirming the message is spam and sending the report.

  • Reporting helps refine spam filters and aids carriers and authorities in tracking spam sources.

4. Use Third-Party Apps

When all else fails, or you just want an extra layer of protection, third-party apps are a lifesaver. Here are some tips for using third-party apps to prevent spam texts:

  • Some of the best third-party spam blocker apps are Truecaller, Hiya, and Nomorobo. These apps offer extensive features for identifying and blocking spam texts and calls.

  • When installing, carefully review the app permissions to ensure they don’t access more information than necessary.

  • Set up is typically straightforward: download the app, follow the instructions to grant permissions, and customize the settings.

  • Many of these apps work by comparing incoming messages and calls against vast databases of known spammers, offering real-time protection and peace of mind.

Image by Lindsay Lamont / Unsplash

Stop Receiving Spam Texts From Now

Android users, especially, have to bear more of the burden of spam texts due to an open ecosystem. Spammers also find new ways to complete their agendas, leaving us vulnerable to dangerous malware and phishing attacks.

With the right actions, you can keep them to a minimum. Start applying these tips today, and you should see a noticeable drop in unwanted messages.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Unsplash

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