In US, blocking incoming international calls/texts

I have recently received several texts from outside the US. I do not know the person sending the texts and I can’t read them. My phone company, Sprint, says it can’t block incoming international calls or texts. Unless I know the specific number to block.

Does anyone know of a general solution? The issue of course is that in the US one has to pay for each and every incoming international call or text. So I am paying for the scam and there seems to be no way to prevent it. I guess I could sign up for a plan that covers such calls, but I would still be paying for them.

May I ask how you do not know the number? I was unaware you could block the number from being shown when it came to text messages.

Other than that though, no real help from me as there is no solution besides changing your phone number if it becomes that large of a problem.

When you say, “I can’t read them,” do you mean they are in a language that you cannot read?

If that is so, then my guess is that it isn’t a scam, since unsolicited texts to a number in the U.S. are likely to be in English. My guess is that they are being sent to a wrong number.

They weren’t in english, probably spanish. I know a little spanish and didn’t recognize them but I was mostly annoyed and promptly deleted them. Hence, I don’t know the number they came from. Only after I got the bill and realized I was paying for them did I wish I had kept them. It might have been a wrong number. But it concerns me since I can’t control the expense. I am hoping for a general solution to this possible problem. Or at least reassurance that it isn’t really a problem. :slight_smile:

I believe the number was visible. But I didn’t recognize the message and was annoyed and promptly deleted them. So I can no longer determine the number. Next time I will be more careful.

It’s unlikely to be a scam.

While here in the US (depending on your mobile plan) you do pay something for receiving a text, the sender of the text doesn’t get any of that money; your carrier keeps all of it. So there would be no incentive for an evil spammer in, say, Peru, to mass-blast the US with Spanish language texts.

My bet is you got the modern equivalent of a wrong number. Who redialed a couple times before sorting out his/her error.

Thanks. I know that is how it works here in the US, but wasn’t sure about other countries.

Check with your service provider. For AT&T for instance, you can forward on all unwanted texts (spam or wrong number) to a specific number and they will credit your account and help them to develop a better spam database.

AT&T spam reporting literature


If you have a smartphone, there may be software (either built-in or from a third party) which can block calls and texts based on patterns in the phone number. For example, if you’re receiving a lot of unsolicited texts from a particular country, and don’t normally receive legitimate texts from it, you may be able to configure this software to block texts from all numbers starting with that country’s dialling prefix. If you post your phone’s OS (or if you don’t know it, its make and model) maybe someone can recommend a specific software package.

I am using a Samsung Galaxy S phone using the Android Froyo OS (version based on 2.6.32).

A Google search for Android call blockers turned up a large number of hits. For example, there is BlackList which features “text filters by plain text or regular expression, prefix-matches, postfix matches” and “advanced number matching mode including exactly, start with, end with, contains, regular expression”.

I don’t have an Android phone myself and haven’t used this software. Proceed at your own risk, or try some Google searches of your own. :slight_smile: