Monday morning I received a text spam at 2:20 AM. Getting text spam in general is highly annoying but getting text spam at two in the morning takes it to a whole new level. I have a hard enough time getting sleep and being woke up by a stupid spam text message in the middle of the night does not help.
I have my phone on the Do Not Call List for a reason. It’s because I don’t want random garbage calls or texts. So when I actually do receive a spam text, it motivates me to actually take action.
The first thing I do when I receive text spam is to file a spam complaint with the FCC. Filing a complaint is relatively easy.
Step 1: Start Filing An FCC Complaint
Go to http://www.fcc.gov/complaints and start the complaint process by choosing a complaint type. In the case of text spam sent to your phone you select:
- Telemarketing, Prerecorded Messages, Caller ID Spoofing, and Do-Not-Call
Click the picture below to see the actual form
Step 2: Categorize Your Complaint
Once you submit this part of the form you will be taken to the second step where you choose the category for your spam report. For text spam sent to your phone choose the following:
- Live telemarketing calls (including Do-Not-Call), prerecorded messages, advertising text messages, unsolicited commercial emails, ‘Abandoned Calls’, or ‘War Dialing’ received on a wireless phone
Step 3: Choose Your Complaint Method
Next you choose the filing method. The FCC suggests you use the online form (1088G). To be honest, this is the quickest and easiest way to do this. Click the Continue to Online Form button button at the bottom to be taken to the next screen.
Step 4: Filling Out The 1088G Form
At this point you will need to fill out the Form 1088G: Wireless Communications Device form.
Step 5: Detailed Information?
Once you submit the 1088G form, another form will show up. This one is much longer and asks for phone numbers, addresses and any other information you have on the company that sent you the spam text message.
Try and provide as much information as possible. In my case, I decided to try and track down the company name and phone numbers based off of the URL that was included in the text message. I went to DomainTools.com and was able to find the phone number, address and parent company of the spammer.
Thisform was much longer so there is no screenshot.
Step 6: Confirmation
Confirmation! At this point you should see your confirmation number on a screen similar to the one below:
Step 7: Your Cell Phone Provider
Why stop with the FCC? Your cell phone provider should also have instructions on how to report the text spam to them as well. I have T-Mobile and it was very easy.
- Forward the spam text to 7726.
- Receive a confirmation and reply with the phone number that sent the spam message to you.
If your not an online type of person, you can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
Step 8: Do Not Call Complaint
Next up, file a complaint with donotcall.gov if you have added your number to the do-not-call list. This should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Step 9: Still not satisfied?
After having another spam incident on my cell phone I decided to dig around a bit more and see what else I could find. Unfortunately, I do not have an Android cell phone yet so if anyone tries these out let me know how you like them please!
- Call filter and SMS filter tool
- Block undesirable calls and text messages from your device
- Import entire contact lists into your black list or add a custom number not in your phone book
- Quick on and off button
- Disable or enable entire call logs