Spam Texts - What to Do?

Recognizing and Reporting Spam Texts:

Scammers can use fake text messages to trick you into giving them your personal and financial information — things like your password, account number, credit card information, Social Security number, etc. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Furthermore, they could sell your information to other scammers. If the text appears to be sent from a known person or from someone working here at SLU, you should verify that it's authentic. If a text looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers lure the unsuspecting with tempting offers or through scare tactics about the security of one's account.

Useful Terms:

  • Spam – Unsolicited messages (e.g., emails, text messages, or Internet postings) usually sent to a large number of recipients.
  • Phishing – The fraudulent practice of sending emails or other messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
  • Smishing –  The fraudulent practice of sending text messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
    (For more information about Smishing and how to protect against it, see THIS ARTICLE.)
  • Vishing – The fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as bank details and credit card numbers.


What to Do if You Receive Spam Text?


If you get a spam text message, based on the level of severity, you can report it by the following methods:

  • Report spam on an iPhone:
    When you use iMessage, you can report spam messages to Apple. Depending on your carrier and country or region, you can also report spam you receive with SMS and MMS.
    1. In the list of messages, touch and hold the spam message.
    2. Tap Report Junk.
      Or, if you’ve opened the message, scroll to the bottom of the message, tap Report Junk, then tap Delete and Report Junk.
  • Report spam on an Android phone:
    1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Messages app.
    2. Touch and hold the conversation you want to report.
    3. Tap Block > Report Spam > OK.
  • If you get a spam text on any of the Instant messaging app for Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, etc. look for the option in that app to report junk or spam.
  • For any information security threats to SLU:
    • In case of any information security related incident, report on
      After you create a ticket, it will be assigned to Information Security.
    • In case of an emergency, report an information security incident by emailing
      or calling the Service Desk at 314-977-4000
    • If you have provided personal information, contact the FTC at

Technical Guidance:

Protect Your Devices:

Any software you use to protect your devices must be kept updated. New risks and security vulnerabilities are discovered daily. It is best to use software that scans your device to find and remove potential threats. To keep your devices safe:

  • Keep your operating system updated
  • Keep your browser updated
  • Keep other software updated (Run Software Updates)

Protect Your Personal Information:

  • Never use personal information as passwords such as your name, birthday, username, or email address.
    • Use a longer password.
    • Don't use the same password for each account.
  • Smartphones, tablets, and other web-enabled devices also need protection.
    • Check the reviews and safety ratings before downloading mobile apps. 
  • Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify your identity when logging into any of your applications, especially your financial accounts.
  • You can use cloud services to save your information.


Why Am I Getting Spam Text Messages?

The source of the spam SMS is rarely another phone. These messages usually come from a computer and are transmitted to your phone via an email or instant messaging account. They are cheap and simple for scammers to send because they are transmitted online.

  • Even if you have a brand-new number, you may still receive robocalls and robotexts since they have different technologies that can automate the calls or texts.
  • Social networking sites that are widely used and  are known to keep track of your online activities and share that information with advertising.
  • There is a good probability that your phone number is in numerous marketing databases if you make it public on any of the social media, B2B/B2C marketplace websites, ecommerce etc.
  • You may have shared your phone number through online forms, competitions, loyalty programs, surveys, and other events. Every time you disclose your cell phone number online, there is a potential threat that it might get use for a spam. 
  • Your phone number was probably marked as legitimate and could have been sold to other spammers if you've ever unintentionally or purposefully reacted to a spam text message. This increases the likelihood that you'll continue to receive spam text messages.

What to Do if You Responded to a Text?

If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account number, go to The site provides a step-by-step process to follow if you believe someone has obtained your personal information.

If you think you clicked on a link or opened an attachment which can be a potential information security threat to SLU, based on the severity level of that incident, follow the information given in Resolution section above, under the heading, For any information security threats to SLU.

100% helpful - 1 review
Print Article


Article ID: 516
Thu 2/16/23 10:49 AM
Wed 4/10/24 3:01 PM