Spam SMS

Spam SMS: what to do? – 7 tips

Spam SMS are not only annoying, but often carry the risk of malicious links and other scams. This is how you can take action against unwanted text messages.

What is the correct way to deal with spam SMS ?

Basically, you should be careful with any unsolicited message received, whether by SMS, e-mail or messenger. Even if the sender seems trustworthy at first, fraudsters like to pretend to be your bank or another service provider with which you are registered. We provide detailed instructions on how to deal with spam SMS correctly in our guide “ What is smishing? ” to dispose of. However, as a general rule of thumb, don’t act hastily and think, don’t click on any links and never give out any sensitive information.

What you can do against SMS spam: 7 tips

1. Report spam SMS

One way to defend yourself against spam SMS is to file a complaint with the Federal Network Agency . Both classic SMS spam messages and text messages received via messenger services such as WhatsApp can be reported using two online forms. Depending on the type and severity of the violations, the Federal Network Agency can then respond with appropriate measures such as warnings or, in cases of hardship, even a business model ban. 

2. Block SMS senders

You don’t have to wait for the Federal Network Agency to take action against the spammers and you can take action yourself by blocking a number as a precaution. Here’s how to do it on Android and iPhone.

Android: Block SMS

Open the Voice app. Now select “Messages”. Open a text message from the contact or number you want to block. Now tap on “More Options” and then “People & Options”. Here you can block the number to stop receiving messages.

iPhone: Block SMS

In the Messages app message history, tap the name or phone number at the top. After selecting “About”, scroll down to “Block Caller”. This will stop you from receiving calls or SMS from that contact.

3. Entry in the Robinson list

An entry in the Robinson list is intended to protect consumers from unsolicited commercial calls and SMS. The idea behind this is that reputable companies compare their contact lists with the Robinson list and delete the phone numbers from their system. However, this comparison is voluntary and not all companies take part in the project. The entry in the Robinson list does not mean that you will no longer receive unwanted calls or text messages. But he can at least prevent one or the other message.

4. Install antivirus program

While iPhones are inherently very well protected against malware and there are therefore no antivirus apps in the App Store, it can make sense to install additional protection for Android devices. The consumer advice center recommends the antivirus programs for Android tested by AV-Test. You can find an overview and other useful information on the subject of spamming here .

5. Don’t register anywhere

Be careful where you put your mobile number. The more often you give your number away on the Internet or register with various services, the greater the chance that spammers will gain access to it.

6. Set up third-party lock

To protect against unwanted subscriptions through links in spam SMS , the consumer advice center recommends setting up a third-party block with your mobile phone provider. In this way, you can prevent unintentionally taking out a subscription via your phone number, which would result in unforeseen costs. You can either set up the third-party block via your customer account or order it by post / email. Contact your wireless service provider directly for more information.

7. Change phone number

If the flood of spam does not decrease and the above tips do not lead to an improvement, you can also consider changing your phone number if in doubt. With most mobile phone providers, this is possible for a one-off fee in the current contract. However, you should not be too hasty because nowadays many services such as online banking are linked to the phone number due to two-factor authentication. Therefore, first find out from all services and providers that use two-factor authentication how you can change your phone number without any problems.

In the event that I click on a spam link, what should I do?

If you receive a spam SMS and accidentally clicked on a link , the Federal Office for Information Security recommends proceeding as follows:

  • Immediately turn on Airplane mode to take your phone off the network.
  • Then inform your cell phone provider – if possible.
  • Check your bank and other accounts for suspicious activity. If in doubt, inform your bank.
  • Police should be notified if necessary. Take your phone with you as evidence.
  • Factory reset your smartphone to remove possible malware.

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