How to block SMS text message spam on Verizon
Are you getting SMS text message spam from 5-digit numbers? These are messages that Verizon complicity sends to you via their "Premium Messaging" service. The good news is that Verizon allows you to block all of these via their website. The bad news is that there are still plenty of SMS spammers that don't route through Verizon's officially sanctioned spam channels and just robo-spam.
- Log in to My Verizon
- Go to the "Verizon Safeguards" page
- Go to the "Service Blocks" page
- Check both boxes for "Block Premium Messaging" and "Block Premium Animated Messaging"
Verizon explains "premium messaging" on it's FAQ page:
What is Premium Messaging?
Premium Messaging is an option to purchase or subscribe to messaging programs, provided by third party content providers, for premium charges (e.g., charges that are in addition to standard messaging charges). The premium charges for subscriptions recur monthly, while the premium charges for purchases occur only once. Many programs offer both one-time purchases and recurring subscriptions. These programs are initiated through special numbers, which are four, five or six-digit numbers, known as Short Codes.
Examples of Premium Messaging programs are:
- Interactive voting during TV shows
- Purchases of content, such as ringtones, wallpaper or screensavers
- Weather alerts, sports score alerts, daily jokes, horoscopes, etc.
- Trivia subscriptions
- Subscriptions that enable the download of a certain amount of content each month, such as the ability to download 10 ringtones or wallpapers per month
Not surprisingly, in 2011 Verizon settled a class action suit where customers were unwittingly signed up for recurring billing for various bullshit services:
Verizon Wireless has learned that some customers may have signed up and been charged for certain third party premium text messaging services based on advertising that did not meet Verizon Wireless’ standards for the disclosure of pricing and subscription information. These charges were for content associated with a company known variously as Cylon, Jawa and/or Eye Level Holdings (although these names may not have appeared on the content or on your bill).