There is an increasing trend of telemarketers using any means possible in an attempt to offer low-rate credit cards, free cruise trips and other nonsense. For some it’s looking for a way to lose contact with that crazy ex-girlfriend or boyfriend. We’ve outlined how to block calls on iPhone in iOS 6 and blocking calls in iOS 7, but what about text messages. While the Messages app preferences don’t offer much in the way of preventing unwanted texts, there is hope depending upon your carrier. We traveled down the rabbit hole with all of the major carriers hoping to find out how to block SMS messages on iPhone. What we found was good and bad, so read on for the dirty details.
Preventing Phone Spam
When you receive an unsolicited text or advertisement, then you are the unfortunate victim of phone spam. According to AT&T, a large portion of these messages are sent from the Internet to your iPhone, so they are actually sent via an email message. They provide a free service with an assortment of blocking options. Once you sign up, you can make changes to the following:
- Email delivery control: You can select ‘Block all text messages sent to you as email’ and/or ‘Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email‘.
Allow, Disallow Lists
You can create your own list of email addresses you’d like to either whitelist (Allow list) or blacklist. This can be extended to block any messages from a particular domain using the format domain.com.
Sign into myVerizon and you can access Verizon Safeguards. Here you will find a tab for Internet Spam Blocking. They allow up to 15 email addresses. You can also block all text message sent from the web and/or block all text messages sent from email.
To stop Internet Spam in its tracks, send one of the following applicable texts to 9999.
- block email
How to block your crazy ex
There is a good chance that you’ve stumbled upon this article in an attempt to block messages from your crazy ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend). There are no apps in the App Store and nothing within Message that allows for this function. If you are running stock iOS, then your only option is to purchase a plan from your wireless carrier.
AT&T offers an option called Smart Limits for Wireless, which runs $4.99 per month. It offers a host of features, but most notably the ability to block incoming, outgoing calls and text messages. This feature supports up to 30 numbers. It’s intended to be more of a parental control, but these enhanced features will prevent harassing text or phone calls.
One of the benefits of having Verizon Wireless as your carrier is the ability to block calls and messages without an additional fee. If you have a family plan, the numbers can be blocked across all lines. Sign into myVerizon and select I want to… “Block Calls and Messages” and enter up to (5) phone numbers.
They handle blocking through the use of shortcodes. Here’s how to block SMS messages on Sprint.
Text block XXX-XXX-XXXX (remove the dashes) to 9999.
If it goes through, you should receive the following message.
SprintFreeMsg: block: Text messages to and from “XXXXX” are now blocked.
Tip: By sending help to 9999, you’ll receive a help message from Sprint on how to use assorted shortcodes.
If you are jailbroken and don’t mind the investment of $12, there’s been plenty good said about iBlacklist and it’s ability to prevent incoming calls and messages. It works similar to AT&T’s allow/disallow list, but it does so with phone numbers and not just email addresses.
Whatever your reason for blocking SMS messages from hitting your iPhone, there are a number of options to help safeguard you from receiving unwelcome texts. Depending upon your carrier, these options could be either paid or free. While the App Store doesn’t provide any solutions, jailbroken iPhones can pay a one time fee of $8 for iBlacklist, which might be advantageous to those looking to skirt extra monthly fees charged by AT&T for this type of service.