February 8, 2023

MONTPELLIER

Business/Industrial Goods and Services

What to do if you’re getting spammed with marketing texts

Do you feel like you’re getting more and more random texts from companies instead of calls or emails? You’re not wrong: text marketing is on the rise.

Consumer Reports says when Ruth Lalangui gave her phone number to DressBarn while placing an online order, she didn’t realize she’d start getting spam texts.

“Every single day. In the morning, in the evening, in the afternoon. It’s too much,” she said.

Sometimes people opt-in to these types of texts without even knowing it. What was worse for Lalangui: the texts she got didn’t include a clear way to opt out.

If you’re getting spammed with text messages, Consumer Reports says there are some things you can do.

“If the message does offer a way to opt out, do that. You can also forward unwanted texts to 7726. It’s free and it helps your carrier take action,” said Consumer Reports Finance and Tech Expert Octavio Blanco.

Your phone or carrier should also give you the option to block the number to stop them from sending you more messages.

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You can also file a complaint with the FCC or FTC if you’re getting messages you never agreed to.

Report to FCC | Report to FTC

“Be careful when entering your phone number online. You may need to uncheck a box to opt-out of marketing texts or emails,” warned Blanco.

RELATED: I-TEAM: How to sue a telemarketer

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Blanco said if you’re getting texts you can’t seem to stop, check the company’s online privacy policy for a way to opt out.

For Lalangui, DressBarn’s opt-out policy states you can unsubscribe from its marketing text messages by replying STOP.

Unwanted texts can definitely be annoying, but some can be dangerous.

“Smishing—as it’s called—is a way scammers try to get your personal info via text message,” said Blanco.

MORE: Smishing: A silly word for a serious fraud risk

Scammers may text you claiming to be from a government agency. They may sound urgent and ask for an immediate response. They may even sound friendly or use your name.

“If you get a suspicious text you didn’t sign up for, don’t reply — even if it says to ‘text STOP’ to opt-out. Block the number then delete the text,” Blanco said.

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Consumer Reports also says to add yourself to the Do Not Call Registry. It does cover unwanted text messages too. You will find a direct link to sign up here: https://www.donotcall.gov/register.html.

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