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How to stop spam texts and robotexts

Getting dozens of spam texts on your phone is about as annoying as it gets, but there are ways of minimizing the nuisance and even eliminating it altogether. 

Ridding yourself of spam texts, also known as robotexts, takes a combination of hitting the right buttons on your device, downloading the best app and registering your cell phone number. Here are three tips to help you say farewell to spam texts.

Tweak your phone settings

The key to blocking robotexts starts with your phone settings, Kathy Stokes, the director of fraud prevention programs for AARP, told CBS MoneyWatch

"Your smartphone may have a 'report junk' option for senders not in your contact list," she said. "You can click that and report it on the next screen as a scam."

Other settings you might employ depend on the type of phone you have. 

iPhone users can tap on the settings icon on their home screen, then scroll down and select Messages. From there, scroll down and tap the Filter Unknown Senders toggle so that it's green. Some iPhone models give you the option of going into Notifications (also in Messages) and turning off alerts from unknown text message senders. 

If you have an Android, tap on the Messaging icon from your home screen, then tap the three dots in the top right corner. A drop-down menu will appear. Press Settings, then Spam Protection. Scroll down to Enable Spam Protection and tap to turn it on. 

Use a spam-blocking app 

Americans received a staggering 55 billion robotexts in December alone, the most ever recorded in a single month, according to Robokiller. 

There are at least half a dozen applications you can use for blocking unwanted texts. Perhaps the most popular is Robokiller, which has more than 11 million downloads on Apple's app store. Other options include Robo Shield, Nomorobo and Textkiller, depending on your phone's operating system. 

If apps don't fix the problem, Stokes suggests calling your wireless service provider and asking what it can do to block unwanted texts. 

Join the national do-not-call list 

Some Americans already know about the Federal Trade Commission's do-not-call list registry and how it helps prevent spam phone calls. Companies that call numbers on the list are subject to $43,792 in penalties per call. The registry also works for text messages, Stokes said. 

"As much as people say the do-not-call registry doesn't work, it can cut down on unwanted calls and texts," she said. "If an legit company contacts you and you're on that list, the [Federal Communications Commission] can fine them — and they do." 

To join the national do not call list, visit and register online, or call 1-888-382-1222 and register by phone. 

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