How to Block Scam Text Messages

Receiving obnoxious, unwanted texts? On at least three major providers, you can probably prevent them.

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An Arizona ABC affiliate dug up the secrets to blocking fake contest text messages and other shenanigans, at least if you use Verizon or AT&T.

If you’re a Verizon customer, visit its Spam Controls website. It’s a free service which allows you to block up to five specified numbers from calling or texting for three months. (If you start getting the messages again after that, you’ll have to add the number again.)

You can also permanently block people and increase the limit to 20, but you’ll need to subscribe to their $5-a-month Usage Controls service. The service also allows you to prevent overage charges.

On AT&T or Sprint? Put this number in your contact list: 7726 (SPAM). Forward any unsolicited messages there so they can investigate and possibly block the number. Here’s how:

  • iPhone: Press the message (careful not to activate a link), then Edit, then tap the little circle next to the message, then forward to 7726.
  • Android: Press the message (careful not to activate a link), then choose Forward in the menu and forward to 7726.
  • Blackberry: Open the message, then using the Menu key, select Forward in the menu and forward to 7726.
  • Windows: Press the message (careful not to activate a link), then choose Forward in the menu and forward to 7726.

There’s no charge to forward messages to 7726. On Sprint, you can also take a more active approach and add numbers you wish to block, similar to Verizon. Sign into My Sprint, and go to My Preferences > Limits and permissions > Block texts > Block only these numbers for inbound and outbound text messages, where you can add phone numbers, emails, websites or short codes.

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