April 3, 2015
Step-by-Step Directions to Stop Unwanted Calls and Texts to Your Mobile Phone .
CTIA and the wireless industry want to make sure that if you don’t want a call or text from certain individuals, you know that there are numerous tools and applications available to block these unwanted calls and messages.
By using these kinds of apps and features, you make the decision of who you want to hear from, and who you want to block. What could be considered a nuisance call for one, may be important to someone else. That’s why it’s important blocked calls and texts are directed by the user, not by the wireless carrier.
Apps and Instructions to Block
To help you, we assembled a list of these apps and divided them based on which operating system your phone uses (e.g., Android or iOS). Many of the helpful apps feature personalized blacklists and whitelists to allow consumers the freedom to decide what calls they want to allow and what calls they want to block.
We’ve also developed step-by-step instructional videos on how to block these unwanted calls and messages on your mobile device.
Laws Determine Who Can or Can’t Contact You
Who may contact you, and how they may do so, is governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which includes calls to mobile devices, as well as advertisements to fax machines, the use of automated dialers (aka robocalls) and artificial and recorded voice messages. The TCPA is designed to protect consumers from the intrusion of unwanted solicitations, in addition to the expense, which can sometimes be associated with such solicitations.
Telemarketers may not call during certain hours, and they may not use auto dialers and recorded messages to call numbers which will result in charges to the consumer. There are, of course, some exemptions to the TCPA. These exceptions permit businesses to make calls to customers with whom there is an established relationship, as well as calls made on behalf of a non-profit organization, or for non-commercial purposes, which allows pollsters and political campaigns to make such calls.
Under the TCPA, it is:
- legal for a campaign to call voters on their landline phones using an auto dialer and leave a robocall message without the “prior express consent of the called party [e.g., voter].”
- illegal for a campaign to contact voters’ cellphones using auto dialers and robocalls without prior express consent (per 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii)).
The same rules apply to text messages. It is:
- legal for campaign workers to send texts to voters’ cellphones.
- illegal for a campaign to use an auto dialer to send texts to voters’ cellphones without prior express consent (per 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii).
Report SPAM Text Messages
If you receive a SPAM text message, report it by following these simple steps. Users will not be charged for reporting SPAM text messages.
- Forward the SPAM text message to SPAM (7726)
- You will then receive a text asking for the phone number that the text message was sent from; text that number back
- You will then receive a “thank you” text. No additional action is necessary.