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Quick Tips: Avoiding Text Spam with the @FCC

unnamedI messed up somewhere along the way.  Not sure when, not sure how… but someone untoward has caught hold of my phone number.  Now I’m getting emote-filled marketing iMessages from [email protected] (the most recent repeat culprit).

CURSE YOU, LUKANGFE! I don’t want your Sunshine-embracing RayBans or Oakleys!

I responded with my tried & true “remove” technique (a method that has worked for pesky spam emails and newsletters).  That must have tickled Lukangfe, as I received another promotion text shortly after.  This time I railed back with a 2nd-grader response of “I’m reporting you for spam fraud!”  A) Nothing like a good tattle-tale threat, B) I don’t think “spam fraud” is a real thing.  Nevertheless, I needed to find a way to fight back.

The FCC has a list of actions you can take if Lukangfe, or Lukangfe’s extended spam-family, decide to contact you via phone OR email (there’s a LOT more info on the website, btw):

What You Can Do to Stop Unwanted Texts to Your Mobile Phone and Spam in General  
You can reduce the number of unwanted texts you receive by taking these precautions and actions:

  • Do not display your mobile phone number or email address in public.
  • Be careful about giving out your mobile phone number, email address, or any other personal information. Make sure to read through and understand the entire transmitting form. Some websites allow you to opt out of receiving email from partners – but you may have to uncheck a preselected box if you want to do so. Make sure to check for a privacy policy when submitting your wireless phone number or email address to any website. Find out if the policy allows the company to sell your information.
  • Do not respond to unwanted texts or emails from questionable sources. Several mobile service providers will allow you to forward unwanted spam texts by simply texting it to 7726 (or “SPAM”) to enable the providers to prevent future unwanted texts from the specific sender.
  • Check with your mobile service provider about options to block future text messages from specific senders.
  • Use an email filter. Some service providers offer a tool that filters out potential spam or channels spam into a bulk email folder. You may also want to consider filtering capabilities when choosing an Internet service provider.
  • You may want to use two email addresses – one for personal messages and one for newsgroups and chat rooms. Also, consider using a disposable email address service that creates a separate email address that forwards messages to your permanent account. If one of the disposable addresses starts to receive spam, you can turn it off without affecting your permanent address.
  • Try using a longer and unique email address. Your choice of email addresses may affect the amount of spam that you receive. A common name like “mjones” may get more spam than a more unique name like “da110x110”.

Also, if you want to actually send in a complaint, here’s the info you’re looking for:

There is no charge for filing a complaint. You can file your complaint using an online complaint form. 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

 

6a00d834515ae969e2019b03a55da8970cProtect your information!  It’s not a scary thing if you’re willing to ask questions. (And Google topics or key words if you’re concerned. Seriously, if you suspect something, chances are others have too, and there may be threads of dialogue already.)  With crazy GPS options, and the amount of info collected by various apps you download & use, it’s going to take a bit more effort in the vigilance department.  Know your rights, do your best to read those policies and terms you agree to, and be wary of “check mark” boxes that are auto-selected for you.

Izzy Neis
Director of Engagement & Strategy

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