Text Spam Sucks

Will Oremus at Slate discussed the phenomena, Hell Phone:  Is there any way to stop the scourge of text message spam?

I have had a similar experience of late:  a number (thankfully not too much as yet) of text based spam offering any number of ridiculous offers (I think I have gotten the iPhone 5 offer he notes in the piece as well as free gift cards and any number of other too-good-to-be-true offers that are typical of spammers).

I am somewhat surprised that there appears to be no easy way to block specific phone numbers from sending being able to send texts to one’s phone.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. matt says:

    The problem is that the spaming scammers are spoofing their number so it’s impossible to block them. The best you can hope for is to come up with a system to block anyone not in your contacts list..

  2. Joy says:

    It depends on your wireless provider, but yes you can block specific phone numbers from texting you…

    Here’s the AT&T help document, for example: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB115812&cv=820#fbid=URO-7zD6sNb

    Also, I’d imagine a good public service a blogger could do would be to publish the number he’s getting unsolicited messages from, so the number (range of numbers) would be unusable in the future.

  3. Blocking won’t help if the spammers are spoofing, or if they are using an internet based system to send their text messages

  4. matt says:

    Like I said in my first post. The scammers are spoofing numbers and can use any range they feel like..

  5. John Burgess says:

    Putting the numbers into a search engine usually turns up a number of complaints. Site like whoscallingme.com and whocallsme.com allow recipients to describe the con and what they learn if they follow the call to a human.

    This doesn’t stop the calls, but it gives something that can go to the FTC for abuse of the Do Not Call List.

  6. Davebo says:

    I’ve had some luck with AT&T’s text spam blocking techniques. Not full proof but I get a lot less now.


  7. AT least here in Brazil most of the text spam is provided by the own wireless providers.

  8. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    The “delete” button on my phone works really well for text spam. You don’t even have to read the spam first (although you do have to open it ).

  9. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Sometimes, though, I do read the spam. It helps me practice my Korean.

  10. Jenos Idanian says:

    Those of us without free texting greatly enjoy paying to get these spams…