The pandemic seems to have brought with it an increase in spam texts. From missed delivery charges to vaccine scams, spam messages are continuing to fill up our text inboxes and potentially empty our wallets far too often.
If you’re not familiar with fraudulent texts, then I suggest checking out the many websites that help you spot them. However, once you know what to look out for, how do you report a spam text message so that you can do your bit to help fight this menace? Let’s find out.
Isn’t spam text reporting built into my phone?
Most modern Apple and Android phones have the option to report spam messages directly within the text messaging app. If you want to know more, and have an iPhone, check Apple’s website here. Or, if you’re an android user, then head to this Google website instead.
However, not all phones are the same: you may have an older model, use a different text-messaging app or not own a smartphone with these built-in capabilities. If that’s the case, it’s still possible to report a spam text on any mobile phone by forwarding it to a dedicated number.
How do I forward and report a spam text message?
Ofcom – the UK communications regulator – has introduced a simple method for reporting spam texts to your network provider; all you need to do is forward the offending message to 7726. So let’s look at how you do this in more detail.
(Please be aware that the example below is from a OnePlus android phone. How you forward a text may vary but most phones work similarly.)
First, find your spam message and press and hold on the text, but be careful not to open any links that may appear within the text. The message is ready to be forwarded once the background turns a different colour.
You’ll also find that new icons appear at the top of the app. From these icons, tap the three vertical dots to the far right.
From the menu that appears, tap on Forward
It’s possible your phone will offer you various contacts to use. It’s unlikely 7726 is part of this list, so tap New message instead.
You’ll now need to type 7726 into the To: section of the new message and tap Send to 7726.
Now tap the SMS paper plane icon to forward the text.
You’ll receive a reply thanking you for the message. It will also now ask for the name or number the scammers sent the text on.
To send this information, find the number on the original text, press and hold over it, and tap Copy to clipboard from the menu that appears.
At this point, return to your spam-reporting message, press and hold in the message box, and tap Paste when the option appears.
The number will now appear in the message box. To send it, tap the SMS paper plane icon. You will then receive a reply thanking you for forwarding the details.
Spam texts are a pain, but reporting them can hopefully help reduce the amount you and others receive. If your phone doesn’t have an automatic option to report these texts, just forward a copy to 7726 instead.