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Smartphones & gadgets

How to block annoying spam texts on your Android

Fate comes calling. The entire world stops. You pick up your smartphone, only to find a robocaller on the other line. Is there any way to block these annoying fake phone numbers?

Spam calls can be dangerous and annoying. If you find your day constantly interrupted by unverified numbers and mysterious strangers inquiring about your car’s warranty, we’ve got good news for you. A better life is possible.

But spam isn’t limited to calls. You might also be bombarded with spam texts. If you’re tired of those annoyances, here are ways to block them on your Android phone.

1. Block and report the number

Why deny a classic solution? You report spam messages and block the offending phone number through Google Messages. Here’s how:

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the Messages app.
  • Touch and hold the conversation you want to report.
  • Tap Block Report spam OK.

This is probably the simplest way to avoid unwanted spam on your smartphone, but it’s not entirely foolproof. New spam senders will slip through if they have another number to use. What can you do then?

2. Use third-party apps and services

There are tons of third-party solutions for spam calls and messages. RoboKiller is one example, and you can read more about our experience with it here. This app automatically blocks more than a million known telemarketers and robocall numbers.

While many reputable apps like RoboKiller do indeed come at a monthly premium, the investment might be worth it. Other apps like Hiya also operate from an extensive, international database of known and identified offenders.

Apps like Nomorobo, on the other hand, re-route every call you receive, terminating anything suspicious or duplicitous. Choose your adventure and stick with whatever works.

You can download the RoboKiller app for Android for free. However, there is a $3.99 per month fee if you decide to keep it.

3. Ask your carrier for help

Can your service provider help you avoid spam messages? They can and in a myriad of ways. Some offer an advanced caller ID that warns you when an unverified spam call or message comes through. Most of the heavyweights will include at least one spam management app in the phone’s software.

AT&T Call Protect, Verizon Call Filter, T-Mobile Scam Shield, and several others will have subscribers of these services covered against annoying spam, often automatically.

Since T-Mobile and Sprint are now one company, you benefit from two massive databases of known scam callers. You’ll also love T-Mobile’s anti-robocall campaign called Scam Shield, which helps all T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers. This offers the following benefits:

  • All incoming calls are automatically filtered on the network level to ensure they’re real.
  • Enhanced Caller ID will display a “Scam Likely” label on phone calls that happen to make it through the filter.
  • A “proxy phone number” will be given to subscribers for use in place of their own for online sign-ups and subscriptions.
  • Be ID Aware, which notifies you when your private information is compromised and shows up for sale on the Dark Web.

Want to activate these features? T-Mobile customers can dial #662# on their smartphones and press the call button. You’ll need to download the Scam Shield app from the iOS App Store or Google Play for the proxy number.

To find what you need if you’re with another carrier, we recommend checking out your carrier’s site for more information.

When in doubt, there’s always the Do Not Call Registry

Sometimes, seeking help from a higher-order might be worth it. The Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry allows you to register your number completely free. Once you do, you’ll be taken off of any registered commercial telemarketing lists, stopping the problem right at the gate.

If anything slips through the cracks, you’ll also have the ability to report these unverified numbers. It’s worth noting that your service may not kick in until up to 31 days after you sign up officially. While it won’t stop charitable or political callers, it’s one quick and easy way to help keep robocallers and scammers at bay.

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