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How do you stop political texts on your phone?

Can you put a stop to text messages from political candidates?
Can you put a stop to text messages from political candidates? 04:15

BOSTON - If you have a cell phone, you've probably received texts from political candidates who are looking for money, even though you didn't give them your number or permission to text you.

Or did you? Odds are you probably did and didn't even know it.

Who is getting political texts?

A call-blocking service called Robokiller says, in 2022, Americans received a record 15 billion political texts. That's an average of 50 messages for every phone in the country and 2024 is gearing up to be an even bigger year.

Madison Medina is just 15 years old. She won't be able to vote for three years, but her phone has been "blowing up" with text messages from politicians.

"They want me to vote. They want me to send money. It's a lot. They ask me for a lot," she told WBZ.

We spoke with a lot of people in Copley Square in Boston, and on social media, who are fed up. From screenshots viewers sent us, both parties are bombarding people with unwanted messages.

WBZ-TV graphic CBS Boston

Why are political texts allowed? 

Well, the rules from the The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are very confusing. 

Basically, political campaign phone calls and texts are exempt from the Do Not Call list. Generally, campaigns need to have your prior consent to send these messages, unless they are actually typed in by hand, by a real person. 

Most are sent by so-called "auto-dial" technology which can blast out thousands of numbers at a time. Those political robotexts are not allowed.

How did they get my number?

"I never gave consent!" you say.  Cyber security expert Peter Tran says somewhere along the line you almost certainly did. It's all in the fine print.

"If you have used your number in any type of online ordering, or any type of marketing, or any type of social media platform, those simple end user agreements may have in fine print that they may also share your phone number with other service providers," Tran told WBZ.

Tran warns these texts can be more than annoying. They can be dangerous. Some texts will include a link that contains malware or will take you to websites that are not actually affiliated with a campaign or a candidate. Your money goes to some scammer. So, never click on a link.

How do you stop political texts?

Tran says reply "stop" to unsubscribe. But don't stop there. 

After you reply "stop" then block the number. You can also go to the "messages" settings on your phone and filter out text messages from anyone not in your contact list.

WBZ-TV graphic CBS Boston

Also, if you want to donate, go directly to the candidate's official website.

You will not entirely stop these robotexts but you can slow them down dramatically.

Lastly, if you receive a text that you think breaks the FCC rules, report it by forwarding the text to "7726," which spells out the word "spam." 

If you have a question you'd like us to look into, please email   

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