Can the Spam: Mobile Phone Spamming

Phone Spam

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Can the Spam: Mobile Phone Spamming

Smartphones are great. They’re little computers that we can take everywhere and use to communicate with anyone across the globe. But where there are computers, there’s malware, and smartphones are no exception. Let’s take a look at mobile phone spam — like text message scamming — and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Phoning It In

Text message spam can come in many forms, including links to: (1)

  • The promise of free gifts from advertisers
  • “Cheap” mortgage options
  • Phony debt relief services
  • False requests for login details (for e-mail accounts like Gmail)
  • Bank transfer requests
  • Unsolicited video or music downloads

Clicking on the links provided in these messages often installs malware on your phone that leads to identity theft and slowed phone performance. (1)


Number of malicious installation packages that Kaspersky anti-virus software detected on mobile phones in 2016 (2)


Percentage of text message spam that are frauds or scams (3)

Common scam message categories (3)

Receive a gift card: 63%

iPad and iPhone test and keep: 12%

Need cash now?: 5%

Account phishing: 2%

Work from home: 1%

Malware can also infect smartphones through: (3)

  • Opening spam emails on mobile devices
  • Downloading ringtones, background wallpaper or other media from untrustworthy websites
  • Installing apps that are not from your operating system’s app store
  • Clicking on suspicious links while browsing the internet or social media sites

SMS Spam Stops Here

If you have received suspicious texts … (1,4)

1. Call your carrier right away. You can copy the number and content of the message and send to the short code 7726. This kind of information helps them block spammers in the future.

2. Notify the authorities, especially if you have lost money to spammers. Be sure to monitor your bank accounts and Paypal or Apple accounts for unauthorized withdrawals or purchases.

3. Reset all of your passwords. This includes your Apple or Android passwords, e-mail and any other private accounts.

4. Do not reply to any texts or click on any links from unknown senders. Replying can open the door for hackers.

5. Block the number on your mobile device.

In order to prevent mobile spamming, you should … (1,4)

1. Add your number to the national Do Not Call registry.

2. Download security software onto your smartphone.

3. Never text your social security number, bank card numbers or passwords, even to friends and relatives.

4. Always review your phone bill at the end of the month for any suspicious charges.

5. Only download apps from reputable sources, like the Apple App Store.

Recommended antivirus and security software

For Android (5)

  • Avast
  • Sophos
  • AVL
  • Avira
  • Trend Micro

For iPhone (6)

  • Lookout
  • McAfee
  • MobiShield
  • Norton
  • Byte Labs

Phone Spam