iOS 16 lets users report spam SMS messages as junk

iOS 16 lets users report spam SMS messages as junk
Apple is making it easier for iPhone users to fight the scourge of spam texts.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The upcoming iOS 16 will help battle the growing problem of spam text messages. The latest beta includes the ability to report SMS messages as “junk” to the user’s wireless carrier.

iPhone users already can report spam messages that come through Apple’s own iMessage service.

iOS 16 fights SMS spam

About 90 billion spam texts were sent in 2021, according to a report by RoboKiller. That’s a 58% year-over-year increase. Many of these are phishing scams attempting to defraud the recipients.

Apple will help fight this scourge with a new feature coming in iOS 16. The release notes for the second beta, which debuted Wednesday, say, “For selected US Carriers, Messages extends the ‘Report Junk’ feature to enable users to report SMS/MMS junk to Carriers. The option is visible inside Messages from Unknown Senders.”

When a message from an unknown sender arrives, the iPhone user also sees a note from Apple saying, “The sender is not in your contact list. Report Junk.” Tapping on the Report Junk button gives the option to both delete the message and report it.

At this point, it remains unknown which telecoms will make the list of “selected US Carriers” that will receive junk SMS message notifications.

The feature is part of the iOS 16 beta, and will become available to the general public at the full release of the iPhone OS upgrade this fall.

As noted, iPhone owners already can use this same system to report spam texts that come in through iMessages.