“Nothing irritates me as much as getting an unwanted text message from an unknown number” admits a frustrated teenager. Have you ever felt the same way? They show up unexpectedly, they take up free storage space on your phone, and as you delete them, you receive some more. It’s like a never-ending cycle.
So have you ever asked, “why am I getting spam text messages?” this article will tell you what you need to know about why you are getting spam messages and how to avoid unknowingly giving out your phone number to people like telemarketers, robots, and scammers who send Robotexts. We will also examine the dos and don’ts of handling spam text messages. Finally, we will itemize steps you should take if you accidentally fall victim.
Why Am I Getting Spam Text Messages?
You are getting spam text messages because someone at the other end is trying to lure you into divulging your personal information just so he /she (in some cases) can defraud you. In addition to being annoying, spam text messages expose phone users to the risk of identity theft. Unknown to you, spam messages install malware on your devices and as mentioned earlier, it can jeopardize data privacy.
In most cases, you’re getting spam text messages because either you or someone else has unknowingly submitted your number to these spammers.
How Did Telemarketers And Scammers Get My Phone Number?
Remember, the moment you fill your number in any form, it becomes the property of the owner of that service.
Read also: Why am I Receiving My Own Text Messages on Android and iPhone
Technology has made restaurant and hotel bookings a lot easier. While this is super cool, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Hotels and restaurants can sell customer information to other hotels in cases where you have to drop your number for quick notification when there is a future opportunity.
That is why after checking out of a hotel you may start receiving messages about offers and promotions from that hotel.
Although you would not expect them to, service providers sometimes sell their subscriber’s data to these telemarketers. This way, bulk messages are dished out, leaving many phone users wondering how they got their numbers.
This accounts for more than half of reported cases of spam messages. Many are too quick to sign up for free services or giveaways with their phone numbers and other personal information. While the giveaway may be real, you compensate for it with your data.
I Clicked on a Link in a Spam Text, What Can I do?
If you received a spam text and accidentally clicked on the link in the text, you should exit the page immediately, and don’t try entering any personal information or downloading anything on the said web page. We would also recommend that you run a full virus scan on your device immediately after exiting the malicious page.
One possibility is that the link will install malware on your device in the background. An average phone user will not see this but once installed, it can track your personal information (login details and passwords). It can even give a scammer remote access to your phone or tablet.
What You Should Do
- If it has installed an app on your phone, uninstall the application immediately
- If you had entered your login details before exiting the page, change your login details (usernames and passwords) immediately. Do this for bank apps, work emails, social media accounts, and other important apps.
- If you suspect that your device is still compromised, back up your files, and restore factory settings
In most cases, the last step may not be necessary. However, you can never be too sure, hence, tie all your loose ends.
Dos and Don’ts of Spam Text Messages
Don’t be too curious about a suspicious text message on your phone. The moment you open that link, the power to make things happen swings in favor of the scammer. So, resist the urge to reply to any spam message, and if it has any link, don’t open it.
Don’t believe everything advertised as free is actually free. The next time you have to sign up for a ‘free’ promotion online, remember that not all that glitters is gold. You never know who is at the other end of the divide.
Check your Phone’s Settings
Depending on the kind of phone you use, various built-in features can be activated to filter or block spam text messages.
Android Phones: On the spam text display page, click the three dots on the right-hand corner >> select the ‘Block’ option >> when this is done, you will never receive text messages from that number again.
iPhone Users: On the spam message display page, click on the “i” on the top right-hand corner >> you will see an option to ‘Block’ the number >> Click that to stop receiving any message from that sender.
Read also: How to Sign Someone Up For Spam Calls