Mobile messaging is one of people’s preferred ways to communicate with friends, family and their favorite organizations and companies. Because mobile messaging is regulated by carriers and industry watch groups, the incidence of spam on short codes is extremely low. As a consequence, messaging is remarkably spam-free compared to other popular communications channels, like email.
However, sometimes spam does sneak through.
At Mobile Commons, we monitor spam problems and solutions across the mobile industry. We wanted to share our knowledge about why spam occurs, and what steps you can take to report spam to the carriers.
Short Codes vs. Long Codes
Short codes are a secure way of sending texts to users who have explicitly opted in to our clients’ text messaging groups. One critical part of the opt-in protocol is that users can always opt out by replying with works like “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE.”
Spammers by contrast tend to use easily-obtained and unregulated long codes. Long code spam is sent without permission to cell phone lists that are often sold or obtained without the users’ knowledge. These messages will appear unexpectedly, and there’s no response if users text back, leaving them feeling frustrated and powerless.
What to Do If You Receive Spam.
If you receive a text from a sender you don’t know, please report it. Here are the easy steps to take to report these numbers directly to the carriers.
- Forward the spam message to the number 7726 (which spells S-P-A-M). This free spam reporting service works on all the major carriers in the United States
- Sending the above message will prompt the carrier to reply and ask you for the number the spam message came from.
- Once you receive this message reply with the number that sent you the spam.
By reporting spam when you receive it, you can prevent these unwanted messages from reaching your phone and ensure that all of your messaging comes from trusted sources.