spam text messages – what a pain!
How do I block spam text messages on my wireless phone?
I woke up this morning to find that I had received a spam text message on my iPhone. That’s right, some slimeball had sent a text message to my phone, just like spam to an email account. Only, with text messages, there are per-message charges for many people. For others, if they subscribe to AT&T’s text messaging service, they can get 200 SMS messages a month for $5, or unlimited for a lot more.
I wasn’t happy. I was more unhappy when I got another an hour later.
However, a quick Google search showed me the answer.
Most spam text messages are not sent from someone’s phone – they’re sent through one of the phone company’s email-to-text-message gateway addresses.
Fortunately, AT&T has a web page at http://mymessages.wireless.att.com that you can use to set your preferences for text messages and multimedia messages that were sent to you as email.
Even if you already have a login at att.com for your wireless number, this is a separate system – you’ll have to enter your AT&T cellphone number and create a password (I’d use a different password than the one that logs into your regular AT&T account.
Once you register with your phone number and create your password, your first login goes to the Blocking Options – exactly where I wanted to go.
You can put checkmarks beside “Block all text messages sent to you as email” and “Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email. You also have the option to completely block messages sent to your mobile number, and you can still allow messages sent to an Alias that you can set up.
This Blocking Options page also tells you that AT&T applies spam controls to all AT&T accounts – but obviously missed the two spam text messages this morning.
After finishing that step, there is the Message Options page. You can set up your alias here, so that you can give friends an email address that will go straight to your phone.
You can also block long text messages – one of AT&T’s revenue enhancements (cost increases) is that they treat each 160 characters as a separate text message. If your friend texts you with a long message of 161 characters (which isn’t long at all), you get billed for two messages. You can get control of that by blocking messages longer than your choice of one 160 character message segments through ten 160 character segments.
For more AT&T-specific help, go to AT&T’s help page on stopping text message spam at http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-center/main.jsp?solutionId=KB115812&t=solutionTab