efficient way to block text spammers on an iphone
August 13, 2019 6:57 PM   Subscribe

My current method takes ten taps. Is there a shortcut?

Here's what I'm doing now: open the text, tap the sender, tap info, tap the sender again, block this caller, agree to block contact, hit the back button, tap done, tap the back button, and swipe/tap to delete the text. Ten steps. I get several spam texts per week and I resent spam making me do this work.

I'm hoping there is an IFTTT solution or something like that out there. Thanks in advance!
posted by a moisturizing whip to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know of no other way, but i suggest re-writing your question as a feature request and submitting it to Apple’s feedback page for Messages. (Your middle paragraph sums up the problem well.) You’re not likely to get a response, but Apple does pay attention to feedback submissions and it increases the chance that Apple might add a quick shortcut someday.

(I looked to see if the iOS Shortcuts app provided enough controls to do this, but nope.)
posted by D.C. at 8:05 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]

There are third-party apps that make this much easier. Linked article refers to spam calls, but the app I use added a SMS reporting feature a while ago.

I have a small “report all messages” link underneath the most recent message from anyone not in my contacts.

I grumble over the $20/year subscription to use the app, but the text blocking and flagging incoming robo/spam/scam calls work very well. I keep paying.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:21 PM on August 13

Agreeing with all of the above, with the caveat of two items ...

First, many phone carriers have shifted to providing anti-spam apps for free, i.e., Verizon. Check to see if your carrier has a free app in the store that plugs into the same place that FallibleHuman linked to.

Second, I recommend against RoboKiller. (I don't know if that's FH's app.) It basically picks up and auto-pranks callers. Now, the following is my understanding of how it works, and RoboKiller should please NOT sue me if I'm incorrect ... but from what I was able to determine (by reading articles/reviews, looking into people's comments, etc.), by picking up, it makes your phone number end up getting listed as "real person who picks up" in their computers. This whole concept of "let's annoy the fuck out of the spammers and then they'll drop me from their lists" is really fallacious. And as a result, the spam calls quadruple and quintuple, meaning the app has to work harder and harder to keep them out, and doesn't always succeed. And if you then decide you don't want to pay for a RoboKiller subscription anymore, your phone number then becomes practically unusable.
posted by WCityMike at 11:32 AM on August 14

settings > messages > filter unknown senders
posted by zippy at 11:40 AM on August 14

I have RoboKiller; have had it for a month. I haven’t noticed an uptick in spam calls beyond normal variation yet. (I don’t use the prank answerers; there’s an option to just play a boring message that says something along the lines of “The person you are calling is using the RoboKiller service to screen for suspected spam calls. Please leave a message.” I figure that’s safer in the event of a false positive — I won’t accidentally insult a family member, friend, colleague, employer, etc. with a prank.)

However, it has not blocked one single spam text yet, and I get a bunch. I report each and every one. No use. So I’d say it’s useless for spam texts at the moment. (Yes, I really do have RoboKiller SMS filtering turned on in settings. I’ve checked several times.) If anyone can recommend a service that does more than fuck-all for spam texts, please name names.

Also, FYI, the native iOS filter under Settings — Messages — Filter Unknown Senders only filters out iMessages from numbers not in your contacts. It does nothing to filter other, non-iMessage SMS spam. Might as well turn it on, but don’t expect much effect.
posted by snowmentality at 3:12 PM on August 14

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