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Many AT&T iPhone users are not aware they can block spam MMS messages on their iPhone. Although this is not an option accessible via the iPhone Settings app, it is possible to do via the AT&T Wireless website. For reasons unknown to most rational members of the Homo sapiens species, instead of linking MMS message filtering settings to a device listed under your existing AT&T billing account, you must register using another account with AT&T Wireless that uses your mobile number as the primary ID.
Here are some of the options the wireless account gives you:
- Block all text messages sent to you as email.
- Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email.
- Block messages sent to your mobile at MOBILENUMBER@txt.att.net and MOBILENUMBER@mms.att.net.
- Allow lists for e-mail addresses and domains.
- Block lists for e-mail addresses and domains.
- Ability to set email alias for your mobile.
- Ability to set number of segments delivered to your phone.
The most interesting section is found at the bottom of the Blocking Options page:
“Text messages sent via email can also be blocked directly from your handset. When you receive an email that you wish to block, simply reply to the email with the word “block” in the body of your message. The sender’s email address will be added to your Block List. Note: this does not apply for mobile-to-mobile text messages.“
Particularly annoying though is the lack of any control over blocking regular text SMS messages. This means AT&T can bill you for spam text messages, psycho ex ______ that repeatedly text, or the acquaintance that annoyingly sends you a deluge of mildly funny jokes you read ten years ago on inter-office emails. This practice in my opinion is extremely dodgy, and unethical at best — but America isn’t known for having the best cellular networks and providers in the world anyway.