CALL 6: Being on the 'Do Not Call' list doesn't stop spam texts

Posted at 5:04 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 22:07:42-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Being on the Do Not Call List may stop some scam calls, but it doesn't stop scammers from texting your phone. 

Deena Fisher of Indianapolis says she’s tired of unwanted texts.

“The text message will say something along the lines of Deena Fisher you have won the prize, click on the link below to claim,” said Fisher.

Fisher blocks the number and deletes the texts, but says the Do Not Call list has done little to stop the problem.

As Call 6 Investigates reported Wednesday, both the federal and state Do Not Call lists fail to stop many calls from reaching your phone.

RELATED | Being on the 'Do Not Call' list doesn't stop all scam calls from coming through

Both the Indiana Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission go after Do Not Call violators, but many scammers are working overseas; the technology is cheaper than ever to spam you with calls and texts.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has received nearly 300 complaints since January 2016 about unwanted texts, according to Communications Director Jeremy Brilliant.

Texts are covered under Indiana’s Do Not Call list, provided you sign up using your cell phone number.

If your wireless telephone number is registered on the Do Not Call, a telemarketer is not allowed to send you solicitation by text.

Technically, scam text messages are not illegal under the federal Do Not Call guidelines. However, the Federal Trade Commission does take action against companies who use text messages to defraud and harass consumers.

In 2015, the FTC stopped three debt collection operations that sent threatening and deceiving text message, emails, and phone calls.

According to the FTC, the companies sent texts to trick consumers into calling them back, including false statements such as, “YOUR PAYMENT DECLINED WITH CARD ****-****-****-5463 . . . CALL 866.256.2117 IMMEDIATELY.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules also ban text messages sent to your mobile phone using an autodialer, which is often used by spammers unless you’ve already given the company permission to text you or a text is sent for emergency purposes.

The ban applies even if you have not placed your cell phone on the national Do Not Call list.

How to File Complaints About Unwanted Texts

How to Stop Unwanted Texts

  • Don’t reply to the text
  • Don’t click on links asking for information
  • Sign up for both the state and federal Do Not Call lists
  • Report spam to your phone company by copying the original message and forwarding it to 7725 (SPAM)