How To Survive the Election Year and Political Text Spam That Comes With It

Every time elections are around the corner you are faced with all kinds of campaigning activities. You may not be bothered by an occasional flyer or two, but political robocalls and robotexts are a whole new level of annoying. 

What Is the Difference Between Political Text Message Spam and Other Spam Texts? How Do They Work?

Sending spam texts in most (illegal) cases means using autodialer technology to reach a lot of people. Spamming via text is often referred to as Smishing—phishing for personal info via SMS—and is a growing trend among the digital scammers. 

Autodialer technology is cheap, easy to use, and doesn’t require humans to send thousands of spam text messages.

Political campaigns use a different method to spam their targets, one that makes these texts legal because they bypass the Autodialer label. The technology is called Peer-to-peer texting (P2P) and it allows organizations to send texts one-by-one. 

The texts are sent by an individual, using a computer and a large list of recipients. Since there is an actual human involved in the process, this is not classified as auto-dialing and makes them legal according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Are All Political Spam Texts Legal?

Political campaigns are run by legitimate organizations that know how to go around the rules meant to stop robocalls and robotexts. These areas are regulated by:

  1. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules
  2. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  3. The CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act regulates texts by banning the use of Internet-to-phone technology for sending unsolicited texts. The TCPA and the FCC’s rules pose certain restrictions and ban autodialer generated messages. 

Political texts, as annoying as they are, are usually legal if they follow these guidelines:

Not Allowed

Allowed 

  • Sending messages to cell phones or other mobile devices without the recipient’s consent or the option to unsubscribe
  • Using massive outreach software to send messages
  • Spamming protected phone lines, such as emergency or hospital lines
  • Omitting identity and contact info in the text
  • Sending messages that include the identity and the phone number of the entity initiating the call
  • Using peer-to-peer texting, in which people collaborate and send text messages with the help of computer software—these messages are sent one by one, so they don’t fall under the massive outreach restriction

How To Identify Illegal Political Text Messages Spam in Your Inbox

While you might be flooded with messages regarding voting and political campaigns, most of them are not dangerous. 

Scammers will use this opportunity to send their version of political spam, but one that is meant to do more than annoy you. They may even spoof numbers to make it look like they are coming from legitimate institutions. 

It’s not always easy to know the difference, but here are some details to pay attention to:

  1. Lack of the Opt-out or Unsubscribe option
  2. A request for interaction—a link you need to click, a message to respond to, or a number to call back
  3. A sense of urgency
  4. Requests for personal info, like your Social Security number
  5. Lack of any contact info
  6. Numbers that could be hidden
  7. Poor grammar and spelling

In case you encounter a scam message, do not respond or interact in any way. 

Scammers want to initiate interaction to confirm your number is active and add it to further scamming schemes. 

They may ask for your Social Security number or credit card details or other sensitive information. It could be even worse if you click on a link. Links can install malware and spyware on your device.

Learning to distinguish between annoying, but legal texts and fraudulent messages is essential. DoNotPay can help you deal with the latter ones.

How To Stop Illegal Political Text Message Spam With DoNotPay

Don’t get fooled by the facade of campaign texts. As soon as you notice any red flags in a message, use DoNotPay to get your revenge. 

Here is what to do once you receive a scam political text:

  1. Access DoNotPay from your web browser or your iOS device
  2. Choose the Robo Revenge feature
  3. Generate a fake virtual credit card number with our app
  4. Give that number to scammers when they inevitably ask for your credit card details

What happens next is that the scammers will try to charge your card and fail. This card is not connected to any payment source, so there is no money to be taken from it. 

DoNotPay will unmask the scammers providing you with their info, which will be admissible in court. You can use the acquired information to sue the sender and receive compensation. 

How To Stop Receiving Spam Texts To Vote 

Even if the texts are coming from real campaigns, you don’t have to receive them if you don’t want to. 

Legitimate senders will provide several options to stop receiving their texts:

  • Contacting the campaigns via the phone number they provided and asking them to take you off their message lists
  • Using the unsubscribe option provided in the texts—you have to reply with Stop, Unsubscribe, Cancel, or other predetermined expressions
  • Finding the campaign website and email them to stop contacting you

The downside is that you may be on more than one list, so you will have to repeat the process for different senders. 

How To Block Spam Political Text Messages

There are several methods you can use to filter out and block unwanted texts. 

Some of your options are:

Common Text Scams You Should Pay Attention To

There are many different examples of text scam operations. DoNotPay can help you deal with any of them and get up to $3,000 in compensation. 

Here are text scams patterns that criminals often use:

Type of Scam

Description

Scams targeted at the patrons of certain banks

Scams like the Bank of America spam texts or Wells Fargo alert text message scam target customers of these banks threatening to cancel, deactivate or disable their accounts if they don’t provide their credit card info
Group text spam messages

You are randomly added to a group where most of the texts are spam. They are usually coming from numbers you don’t recognize and often offer fake deals

Email to text spam messages

The text comes from an email address instead of a phone number. Such messages are often promotional spam or a part of a phishing scam

DoNotPay’s Amazing Money-Saving Features

DoNotPay is the first robot lawyer in the world created to help you tackle any company or individual trying to profit off of you. Use our app to fight back against robocalls, put an end to spam email, or request a refund from any company. 

Open DoNotPay in your web browser or download it on your iOS device to learn how we can help you with: