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Stopping Spam Text Messages From Your Cellphone

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) -- It's the one kind of text message we all hate: spam. But there are ways to get rid of those dreaded ads.

Americans received almost 5 billion spam texts last year. All of those unlimited messages can add up to huge fees, for those without an unlimited plan.

If spam text messages are driving you crazy, there are several things cellphone users can do to make it stop.

1. First, make sure your cellphone number is on the FTC's "Do Not Call" list. Being on the list won't block everything but it helps. It makes it illegal for telemarketers to call or text you.

2. You can also report spam texts to your cellphone company. Most carriers offer a free service. Users can forward the unwanted message to the number 7726, which spells out SPAM.

3. Download an anti-spam app. If you have an Android smartphone, there are hundreds of apps available on Google Play. One of the most popular is Mr. Number, which lets you text and call the ones you love, while blocking everyone else. There is also Privacy Star, which lets you file complaints directly with the FCC. There are also free apps for the iPhone.

4. Don't reply to the spam text. According to the Los Angeles Times, replying sends a message to the spammer that your phone number works.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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