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Getting a spam message can feel intrusive and even disruptive to your focus. When it’s just a spam email, modern inbox filters have gotten so smart over the years that they know how to classify it as such so it never has the chance to reach and bother you. In comparison, being on the receiving end of a group spam text can be like an annoying fly that’s buzzing around your ears.
When someone adds you to a group chat, there’s often little you can do about it in terms of prevention. Sure, you can remove yourself afterwards by leaving the group, but in most cases, someone can simply add you on the spot. With spammers, the job is straightforward. But when it’s your friends or family, however, you may have second thoughts about leaving since doing so may be considered rude. In cases like these, sucking it up might just be the only way to go… or is it? Keep on reading as we’re about to show you an alternative!
Either way, being added to a group of strangers is as annoying as it gets. If you’re targeted by bots that keep re-adding you, it’s a surefire way to have your day ruined. It’s even worse if you somehow click one of the links they send you by mistake, which could subject your device to all sorts of cyber security risks, including phishing and malware.
But how can you stop the nuisance for good? Don’t worry – we’ll teach you.
Learn to differentiate between two types of group chats
Since the exact methodology depends on what type of group chat you’re involved in, your first step should be to diagnose what you’re dealing with. It’s either going to be either one of these:
- iMessage groups
- Text message groups
Leaving the former is a walk in the park – you just need to make a few taps and you’re done. The latter, however, can pose quite a challenge (you’ll quickly find there is no straightforward way of doing it). So, if you’ve found yourself in one, here’s what to do.
Ignore the messages and don’t engage
As obvious as it may sound, please don’t let your curiosity have the better of you and ignore any messages received. Remember that the members of the group have one intention only – to get something from you, whether it be your money, your personal information, or even control over your device. Therefore, opening the links they send you is a risk never worth taking.
How to block iMessage spam
Since leaving iMessage groups is the simplest of the two, we’ll cover it first. First, open the group and locate the ‘People’ icon that is somewhere at the top. Keep scrolling towards the bottom and you’ll find the ‘Leave this Conversation’ option. You may have to confirm your decision to leave for good, but other than that, leaving should get the job done.
When leaving is not an option
If you can’t or don’t want to leave the group chat, another option is to simply hide any alerts related to the group. This way, you’ll still receive the messages sent out by the group members, but not have them show up as a notification on your screen (and thus not have them disturb you).
To do so, open the messaging app and find the problematic group conversation. Swipe left to find the bell icon and make sure it’s crossed out. Alternatively, you could also press down on the group until a special prompt appears from where you can hide alerts.
iPhone’s integrated spam filtering system
Much like email messaging providers, iPhone also provides an integrated spam filtering system designed to keep unwanted messages like these in check. Upon enabling it, you will no longer be able to see messages from people you haven’t added to your contacts list. Instead, iPhone will filter them and put them into a separate dedicated folder.
The bottom line is that you will still be able to see them on demand, but they won’t be able to invade your privacy any longer. As an added security feature, you won’t be able to open any links sent by these individuals until you add them to your contacts list. Occasionally, the filter may also catch messages from legitimate senders and institutions such as your bank, so it makes sense to check up on your spam folder every once in a while.
To enable spam filtering, open ‘Settings’ and find ‘Messages’. Keep scrolling until you find ‘Unknown & Spam’ (aka. message filtering). There, you will be able to instruct it to filter messages from unknown senders. You can further tweak the settings and have the filter categorize the messages accordingly.
Don’t forget you can also manually block the offenders’ numbers
If you feel like doing some manual purging, there’s always the good old-fashioned block function. Granted, it won’t stop someone who’s keen on getting under your skin by obtaining multiple SIM cards just to get in touch, but it should do for the most part. For starters, you can block the group’s creator.
First, open the group, then look for the ‘nr of people’ counter at the top. Tap it to display the full list of members. Tap the offender, scroll down to see the full list of options and eventually you’ll land on the option that lets you block them.
Blocking spam through your carrier
Since every carrier has its own spam filtering systems, this is a bit of a wildcard method, but most of them should offer something in this regard. This may or may not cover both the calling and messaging aspects of spam, but at the very least it’s worth investigating.
Using other spam-fighting services
Last but not least, keep in mind that there are other third-party spam blocking and filtering services you can avail yourself to. Since the specifics tend to vary from service to service, you’ll have to do your own homework, but it’s another option to consider. One thing worth mentioning is that you should be comfortable with the idea of letting one of these services read your messages (your consent is required for them to work). Therefore, you should only sign up with the ones you trust.
As an alternative for those who want to take a different approach, you can consider services that remove your data from the internet, thus serving as your personal watchdog and fighting the issue at its root rather than merely tackling individual symptoms.
Think about it – for these spammers to message you, it’s more than likely that your number was somehow leaked on the internet without your consent. Dedicated personal information removal services like Incogni will act on your behalf and go after these data brokers using powerful form automation to initiate mass takedown requests.
Spammers always seem to be able to find new creative ways to invade your privacy, but the good news is that you don’t have to stand idly and let them. In today’s guide, we’ve shown you different methods on how to block group spam texts on iPhone, now go out there and show them how seriously you take your privacy.