There are ways to stop text message spam

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by Diana Zoga

KMOV.com

Posted on August 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 19 at 12:08 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The solution to stopping unwanted text messages is often at your fingertips.

Scott Brickman, who manages the AT&T store in south county, says a lot of customers are used to spam and simply accept it without realizing there's something you can do.

"I think it's important people know that there's something they can do about it and they don't have to deal with it," said Brickman.

The quickest, easiest way to stop a particular spammer is to text the word "BLOCK" back to the number. You should receive confirmation that you've been removed from their contact list, soon after.

That move only blocks one spammer, but if you're receiving lots of messages from various sources, you can contact your wireless carrier and ask about disabling texts sent through the internet (which is the main way spammers reach you).

AT&T Customers can go to this site to disable web texting (you have to create an account first, but it doesn't take long): mymessages.wireless.att.com/

There's also an option that allows you to create an "alias". Usually a word or phrase that you can give to services you want to contact you (like useful text alerts from your airline), but one that spammers would have a hard time guessing.

Here's where Verizon customers can find help:  wbillpay.verizonwireless.com/vzw/nos/uc/uc_spam_control.jsp 

T-Mobile offers some blocking services, but not a way to block web-only texts: support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1712#filtering 

U.S. Cellular says their incoming texts are free, so customers are never charged for spam and recommends customers sign up for the national Do-Not-Call list at www.donotcall.gov

A Sprint spokesman told me, by phone, that a customer can only block specific email addresses and phone numbers. Sprint asks customers to forward spam to abuse@messaging.sprintpcs.com

Here's what the FCC says about this kind of spam and how to file a complaint: www.fcc.gov/guides/spam-unwanted-text-messages-and-email 

However, I'm not sure what the FCC actually does with those complaints. Despite a team of media specialists, employed by the federal government to respond to requests for information, no one from the FCC bothered to call back with information on whether the government actually goes after spammers who break the law.

The FCC's ban does not cover texts from companies you do business with, or text alerts you've signed up to receive.

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