Updated: Oct 18
It's annoying to receive spam texts but distinguishing them from legitimate notifications can be difficult. Messages like "You've won..." or "Help a family member..." may cause us to question their authenticity, and unfortunately, many people end up opening them and falling prey to scams. Are you concerned about receiving spam or fake text messages? You're not alone. Many seek ways to identify and avoid spam messages to protect themselves from potential risks and consequences such as identity theft, financial fraud, or malware infection.
We will cover what spam text messages are and what their types are. The blog will cover some important topics like:
So, if you're looking for ways to be safe from the dangers of spam text messages, this is the right place. We will answer all the questions in brief in the blog.
What is Spam?
Spam is the term for unsolicited electronic messages that are sent to people and are typically created electronically. Email and SMS spam are the two most prevalent types of spam. SMS spam is transmitted over mobile networks instead of email spam, which is sent and received over the internet.
Are spam text messages dangerous?
Due to improved response rates on mobile networks and email providers' increased ability to filter out email spam, traditional spammers have turned more attention to SMS spam through mobile networks, which is more appealing to criminals engaging in unlawful operations.
The most common channel used for spam communication
Spam communications can be sent via many channels, but email and SMS are the most popular. Email providers frequently use machine learning to screen out spam communications, automatically deleting them.
On the other hand, SMS spam is rising because of the availability of limitless SMS packages offered by various service providers.
What causes the prevalence of SMS spam?
Mobile spam is often sent via automated tools that may send thousands of messages at once, giving spammers a quick and affordable way to reach a wide audience.
Another factor is the ease with which spammers can acquire mobile phone numbers, either through the purchase of lists of numbers or the use of web scraping methods to gather numbers from online resources.
Types of spam text messages
1. GREY ROUTES
Grey Routes refer to SMS routes enabling SMS traffic, including legal and illegal routes. Some telecommunication companies do not profit from illicit routes. Grey Routes are typically used for bulk messaging by companies to promote themselves when they have a limited marketing budget. However, small-scale businesses can legally promote themselves using cloud-based text message marketing platforms such as Falkon SMS, which offers a broadcast message feature.
2. SIM PHISHING
It is a kind of fake text message that most fraudsters use. Criminals usually send messages to people pretending to be someone else. They then try to take their personal information, like bank details, by stating problems or luring them with offers.
3. SIM Swapping
It is not a very common form of fake text message like phishing, but here the fraudster ports the number of the user to another sim card a takes the information in between, generally used for exploitation of the two-factor authentications.
4. SMS Spoofing
It is another type of text scam where the fraudster appears to be someone else, like the victim’s friend or family. Hence, the text looks legitimate with the intention of exposing the victim’s personal information.
5. SIM Farms
Like the grey routes, SIM farms are also used for illegal bulk messaging. As we all know, a SIM card contains the registered user data. Similarly, we can say that a SIM farm is like a vast number of SIM cards connected to a server rather than a mobile phone, and those numbers are used to send bulk messages. Some text message marketing platforms provide legal and better options, just like Falkon SMS, which text enables any landline and toll-free numbers, which the organization can use to send broadcast features of the application for legal marketing purposes.
Why am I getting spam text messages?
There might be several reasons you are getting fake text messages which generally happens due to your negligence or lack of knowledge. Some of the reasons are:
Your contact information has been taken from some public sources, like any website open to all or any social media platform where you have not restricted who can see your contact details.
While visiting an unauthentic website and providing your email address and phone number to access the website. Sometimes these websites share and sell the details without your consent to third-party marketers.
You may have received a fake text message with some link, and you have clicked unknowingly and provided your personal information, which then sold your data to spammers.
Some organizations or websites with your data, including your email address, phone number, or banking information, may have data breaches allowing spammers to get your personal information.
How to identify a fake text message?
Just being a little cautious, anyone can identify spam text messages as they have some patterns that can be easily identified. Some fake text messages examples with common ways are:
Usually, fake text messages are sent via illegal routes, so always check the sender's phone number. When you have received a text message from any number which is not on your contact list, be skeptical before trusting. Scammers use fake phone numbers to trick people, so the target thinks the message is legitimate.
Any legitimate company that sends a text for marketing purpose they have assigned people to take care of and ensure that whatever they are sending are grammatically correct and does not have any error in the message. But scammers, most of the time, do not focus on the quality of the message and usually have errors in it. So always look for grammatical errors.
Fake messages always have a tone such that a sense of urgency is created in the mind of the target user. It is designed so the victim does not think clearly and reacts quickly. So always check if the text is overly urgent or threatening.
Authentic companies and individuals usually do not ask for financial or personal information over a text message. If anyone asks for such information over text, then be cautious. It might be a fake text message, so always read the content of the message.
Text messages containing suspicious links are widespread practice for scammers and are used frequently to trick people into downloading malware and sometimes taking personal data. Always be cautious if the text message you receive contains any link, and do not click unless you confirm it is legitimate.
If any text message you received claims to be someone from your friend or family and you are unsure whether the text is legitimate, always contact that person before reacting. Never reply to that message, as the spammers might get to know that the person is trying to reach you, and they might get an alert.
How to report spam text messages?
Send the SPAM SMS message to 7726. (Which spells "SPAM" on a numeric keypad).
When you forward the text to 7726, an automated message will ask you for the contact number that originally forwarded the spam.
Include the contact details that called you with your response to the automated message.
Following that, you will get a message expressing gratitude for your report and informing you that it has been accepted.
By reporting spam to 7726, you give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) important information that it can utilize to find and stop unlawful spamming practices.
How to prevent getting spam texts?
Send a "STOP" or "UNSUBSCRIBE" text message in response to the spam message. Law requires a lot of respectable businesses to comply with this request and discontinue messaging you.
The contact number that is reaching you with spam should be blocked. Most smartphones come with a feature that lets you block phone numbers.
Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry with your phone number. This registry can help you get fewer spam text messages, even if its primary purpose is to stop unsolicited telemarketing calls.
Use an app that filters spam. For smartphones, numerous third-party applications may be used to recognize and stop spam text messages.
Don't just hand out your phone number to everyone. Be cautious about providing your phone number when you sign up for services or participate in contests. This can lessen the likelihood that spammers will list your phone number.
How to block unwanted spam text messages on Android?
Step 1: Open the Messaging application.
Step 2: Long-press on the message thread from the sender you want to block.
Step 3: Click on the "Block contact" option.
Step 4: Confirm that you want to block the contact.
*These steps may differ depending on the mobile's model or OS.
How to block spam text messages on iPhones / iOS?
Step 1: Open the Messaging application.
Step 2: Click on the message thread from the sender you want to block.
Step 3: Click on the name or phone number at the top of the screen.
Step 4: Scroll down and click on "Block this Caller."
Step 5: Confirm that you want to block the contact.
*These steps may be different depending on the iOS version or iPhone model.
Third-party applications to block spam messages
You may prevent fake text messages using one of the many spam SMS filter apps available for iPhone and Android devices. Some well-liked choices include:
Truecaller: With the use of this application, you can identify unknown callers in addition to blocking spam calls.
SMS Blocker: With the help of this application, you may design personalized rules for message blocking based on terms or phrases.
Hiya: This application employs cutting-edge algorithms to identify and stop spam calls and messages.
Mr. Number: You can use this application to stop telemarketers, robocalls, and spam texts.
Call Blocker: With this application, you may ban obnoxious calls and messages from phone numbers.
RoboKiller: This application uses machine learning to stop robocalls and spam communications.
With the prevalence of SMS spam surpassing traditional email spam due to its higher response rate, it is essential for users to be able to identify and recognize the different types of spam messages they are receiving to act accordingly.
Users can safeguard themselves against these unwanted messages' annoyance and potential harm by taking precautions in typical daily online activities and learning how to report and block spam text messages. Utilizing third-party spam blockers can also be beneficial to lessen the impact of spam messages.
Want to know how to do an SMS marketing campaign properly without getting caught on the spam list? If so, arrange a free meeting with one of our Falkon SMS team members.
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