With the rising popularity of smartphones, the number of spam phone calls has increased every year. It's one of the most challenging things to take control of even today, and to make matters worse, they like to use text messages in the same manner. You can block incoming phone calls, but what about those annoying spam text messages? You can also prevent them just as quickly.
Since text is more visual and interactive than a simple phone call, the success rate of these types of spam messages is much higher. They use crafty methods to make you reply to them, such as saying a package is being delivered to your address to have you visit a link and confirm your personal details. But in just a few simple steps, you'll be able to block these spammers with Android Messages.
Many phones come preinstalled with Google's Android Messages app, but some don't. If your phone is in the latter category, you can always the app from the Play Store. Once installed, setting it as your default texting app will be as simple as opening the app, then pressing "OK" when prompted to use it as your default.
- Play Store Link: Android Messages (free)
When you get a spam text, open the Android Messages app, and from the main screen, you'll see all of your current ongoing messages. Long-press the offending message thread, then tap the icon with the crossed out sign in the upper right to initiate the block request.
A new window will pop up with the selected number to block along with the "Report spam" option checked by default. To help build the database of known bad numbers, it's ideal that you report spam as much as possible whenever you get a spam message.
Once you tap "OK" to confirm the action, that's all there is to it — no more annoying notifications from that number. It will begin reporting the message as spam, which might take a few seconds, and then it'll be added to your "Blocked numbers" list. You'll have to do this one by one for each number, though, so keep that in mind when going through the process.
The messages will also be archived by default and can be viewed at any time by tapping the three-dot menu in the upper right of the main screen, then "Archived." You can long-press to select all of the archived messages, tap the trash bin icon, then "Delete" to remove them from your device entirely if you choose to do so.
Depending on how active your number is to the spammers, blocking and reporting these messages might become quite the chore since they can easily change numbers. Do your best to help report all of them when you can to relieve some of the annoyance on your end, and hopefully, we can start taking back some control over spam messages in due time.
This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on texting, instant messaging, calling, and audio/video chatting with your smartphone. Check out the whole Chat series.