Spam Text Messages
Spam text messages are more than just a nuisance, they are often illegal. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you may be eligible for compensation from $500 to $1500 per unsolicited text message. Anderson + Wanca has obtained over $10 million in settlements for consumers related to spam text messages.
In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission logged 93,331 consumer complaints about unwanted text messages, a 30% increase over the prior year. This upward trajectory is expected to continue.
Saving Spam Texts
The most important thing to do when receiving a spam text is to record the date, time, sending phone number, and content of the message. Be sure to capture the full content of the message, particularly any phone numbers and links contained within the message.
There are several ways to do this:
On an Android phone, screenshots can be taken by pressing the “volume down” and “home” buttons simultaneously. On an iPhone, this can be done by pressing the “sleep/lock” and “home” buttons simultaneously. These screenshots are generally saved to the phone’s “photos” file, unless another option is selected. Just ensure that the screenshot contains all the information listed above.
There are numerous free apps that will save SMS messages in a .xml format available in your phone’s app store, including the popular SMS Backup & Restore. Detailed instructions for using these apps are available from the app’s creator.
Other smartphones, and older (non-smart) cell phones
For all other phones, especially non-smart cell phones, the best option is to take a photo of the spam text message with a digital camera to capture the time, date, sending number, and content of the message.