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Verizon customers can text “OFF” to 4040 to block email-to-text messages, more than 80% of which are identified as spam, the carrier said. This simplifies the earlier process that Verizon had in place for turning off email-to-text messages.
Text spam has been a persistent issue in the U.S. in recent years. Last summer, the Federal Communications Commission warned that robotext scams were on the rise. The agency said complaints of unwanted texts increased from 5,700 in 2019 to 14,000 in 2020 — and to 15,300 in 2021.
The FCC has banned the use of an autodialer to send texts to mobile phones without consent or in the event of an emergency. Earlier this year, the agency adopted its first rules about scam texting, requiring mobile service providers to block some robotexts “that are highly likely to be illegal,” according to a press release at the time.
Verizon’s filter is broad, so some customers may not want to turn off email-to-text and risk missing messages from friends and family. Verizon said users who change their minds about opting out can begin receiving email-to-text messages again by texting “ON” to 4040.