Annoying iMessage spam: What is it and how to kill it

Bad news for people with iPhones: Apple’s messenger service, iMessage, has been targeted by spammers.

You may have already received one of these annoying messages. It’s an unfortunate side effect of any big social network.

But the good news is that iMessage spam isn’t really that dangerous, if you know what it is and what you can do about it.

What does iMessage spam look like?

Here’s a spam message I’ve received:

Imessage SpamScreenshot/iMessage

Obviously, there are not really deals on Michael Kors products at that URL.

Here are some other examples:

 

 What should I do about it?

It should go without saying that if someone you don’t know is messaging you, offering discount designer brands, you absolutely should not give them any personal information.

Apple also won’t iMessage you to change your password. So don’t fall for that, either.

The easiest thing you can do is to filter iMessages from people who aren’t saved in your contacts. Go to Settings > Messages > turn on Filter Unknown Sender.

iphone6s ios10 settings messagesApple

That will put all iMessages from unknown contacts into a separate folder:

iphone6s ios9 messages filteredApple

To block a specific sender, open the spam message. Tap Details > Info > Block this Caller, then confirm with Block Contact.

To report the spammer, you’ll see a blue Report Junk option underneath the spam message. Tap it and select Delete and Report Junk. Otherwise, you can send an email to imessage.spam@apple.com with a screenshot of the spam, and the phone number that sent it.

More recommendations from Apple here.

What if I am sending out the spam?

This is the bigger problem. If your iMessage conversations look like this:

My iMessage was hijacked – looks like these were test messages in prep for sending out spam. +86 is China.

Or this:

iMessage SpamiPhoneros/Twitter

You’ll need to take action. First, change your Apple ID password — your attacker could have it. Second, turn on two-factor authentication.

That should take care of your iMessage spam problem.