Sometimes you may get unsolicited spam text messages, including iMessages and SMS messages from unknown email addresses. These messages are usually some sort of advertising. They can ask you to click a link to claim your gift card, change your online banking password or Apple ID password. And sometimes, they can be somewhat inappropriate. Of course, they are all spam and fake. Legitimate businesses avoid sending unsolicited text messages as their primary communication. Spammers use carriers’ email as a text gateway to send these messages. Here is a screenshot of a recent spam message:
In this instance, the messages come from an email address instead of a phone number. First of all, you are not alone. This is a common and concerning problem involving many iPhone users. The bad news is that these spam texts will not disappear any time soon, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to block them to ensure that you receive fewer messages like these.
Many users may wonder: Since these do not come from a phone number and instead are associated with an unknown email, is it possible to block them? In this article, I explain what you can do.
Block the email message sender
You can block the spam messages from email addresses easily. After blocking, you won’t receive any more messages from the sender. Here is how:
- Open Messages.
- Open the text message.
- Tap the email address at the top of the conversation.
- Tap the info button.
- Tap Block this Caller.
If needed, you can see all of the blocked emails that send you spam by going to Settings > Messages > Blocked Contacts.
Adjust iPhone spam filters
Your iPhone has a Message setting called Message Filtering. Here is how you can turn this on:
- Open Settings and tap Messages.
- Find the Message Filtering section and turn on Filter Unknown Senders.
This won’t block spam text messages, but this setting will send the messages you receive from unknown senders into a separate folder. To see this and other folders, open Filters in Messages:
- Open the Messages app.
- Tap Filters in the upper left corner.
- Tap Unknown Senders.
What you can do to receive fewer email text message spam
- If you receive a message that includes a link (spam usually does), do not click or tap on it.
- Do not reply. The law states that if you reply “stop” to unwanted text messages, businesses are required to stop texting you. There are even hefty penalties for businesses that do not comply with this rule. However, only real and legitimate businesses care about the law, not spammers. Thus it is best not to reply to spam. When you reply, the spammer will know you are a real person, and you may get even more spam. If they find out that you are a real person, your number will probably be sold to other spammers, and they will spam you too. Even if you block the sender, you will get more spam from different emails if you reply.
- Be careful about giving out your phone number or iMessage email address. For example, do not enter your email everywhere online. You can use burner email accounts instead.
- Block the sender as explained above.
- Adjust your iPhone’s filters as explained above.
- Report the spam you get. There are a few places you can report it:
- Report it to your carrier. Simply forward the spam messages you get to 7726 (which spells SPAM). You can report the SMS text messages you receive.
- Report it to the Government. See: https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds.
- Report it to Apple. You can report the iMessage spam you get to Apple. See: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204759.