So you are tired of the non-stop barrage of spam through iMessages and you’re looking for a way to report the senders. I personally know a few people who fell for convincing scams through iMessages.
It’s especially frustrating when you receive an unknown message that seems like it’s from a legitimate company such as a bank, Amazon, or Google.
In this article, I will share with you how to filter spam from iMessages, block numbers, and report them to Apple. If you follow the steps below you will cut down on iMessage spam by 90% or more. Not only will you stop the constant stream of spam to your phone but you’ll also reduce the chances of you falling for a scam.
You could also follow these steps to help a friend reduce spam on their phone. For example, elderly people are more likely to fall for iMessage scams because they’re less familiar with the technology. These tips will keep them safe.
How to Report iMessage Spam to Apple
To report iMessage spam to Apple simply tap on the Report Junk link that will appear below an iMessage from unknown contacts. You can also, take a screenshot of the iMessage, compose an email, attach the screenshot to the email, enter the sender’s phone number, and send the email to [email protected].
Report iMessage Spam to Phone Carrier
Another option is to report the iMessage spam to your phone’s carrier’s anti-spam hotline. While there are many different mobile phone carriers, most of them use the same hotline for spam.
To report iMessage spam to your phone carrier, open Messages and tap and hold on to the conversation you want to report. Tap the forward icon and forward the message to 7726.
You will receive an automated response from 7726 asking for more information, such as the full phone number of the sender. They’ll never ask for personal information. It should take a couple of minutes.
Reporting the message to both Apple and your phone’s carrier is a good idea.
Reporting an iMessage to Apple or your phone’s carrier will not block the contact. You could receive further messages from them. To block the contact, open the conversation in messages, tap the contact icon in the top right corner, tap on info, and select Block this Caller.
Set Up iMessage Spam Filters on iPhone
It’s also a good idea to set up iMessage spam filters on your phone. I recommend enabling these spam filters as soon as you start using a new iPhone. It’s very easy and could save you a lot of headaches and frustration.
What you want to do is filter messages from unknown senders. To filter messages on iPhone, open the Settings, select messages, and toggle on Filter Unknown Senders.
When you enable this feature you will still receive spam messages, but they’ll be placed in a separate inbox and you won’t get notifications from them. To view the filtered messages, open the Messages app and tap the Filters tab in the top left corner.
In the Filters menu, you will see messages from unknown senders. In some cases, legitimate messages from 2-factor authentication services might be filtered, such as banks and other services.
If you receive a code from a service you recognize, I recommend adding the number to your contacts, to avoid having to dig through the filtered inbox again. Messages from your known contacts will appear normally with a notification sound.
Remove iMessage Group Chat Spam
Do you know what’s more annoying than iMessage spam? Group iMessage spam. It’s especially annoying when other people are replying to the group chat with messages like STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE and you’re getting notifications from everyone.
If you have filters enabled, these group chats will likely be sent to a filtered inbox. However, if you do see spam from a group chat, tap on the list of recipients in the group, and scroll down until you see an email address.
The person sending the spam is almost always the one with an email address listed instead of a phone number. From there what you want to do is click on the email address, select more, and tap on Block this Sender. Then delete the message and go about your day.
How iMessage Works
iMessage is Apple’s text service that allows any Apple device. For example, you can send messages from a Mac to an iPhone, and all you need is an internet connection. You can also send messages to people via their Apple ID, phone number, or email address.
The difference between iMessage and regular SMS messages is the iMessage will be coloured blue, and regular texts will be green. iMessages use your internet connection while SMS use your phone’s mobile carrier.
As you can see, a scammer who has an Apple device can easily send out iMessage spam to multiple contacts. While the iMessage service is convenient, it’s not that helpful nowadays because there are so many other messaging apps that people use.
Disabling the iMessage service is one way to cut down on spam. If you’re sure the messages are coming from iMessage and not SMS (if the texts are blue, it’s from iMessage, green is SMS) you can disable the service altogether. It’s fairly easy to do.
To disable iMessage, open Settings, tap on Messages and toggle iMessage off. You can also de-register from the iMessage service using Apple’s Self Solve service. I personally would disable iMessage because I don’t see the appeal, but it’s up to you.
Also, a quick point to mention is you need to disable iMessage before you transfer the SIM card on your iPhone to another phone. If you don’t turn off iMessage, the SIM card might not be able to receive regular SMS texts on the other phone.
The Bottom Line
To summarize, iMessage spam is really annoying but you can drastically cut down on it by enabling filters, blocking contacts, and reporting the spam to Apple or your phone’s carrier. I would also consider disabling iMessage altogether to see if that helps.
Unfortunately completely blocking spammers from your phone is a struggle because they’re always changing tactics. But these tips should help eliminate most of the spam from your messages.
Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash