How to Stop Political Spam Texts

hand holding phone
hand holding phone

Political spam texts are especially rampant during election season. As the US presidential election approaches and foreign influence increases, many smartphone users need to know how to stop political texts.

These political SMS messages can be particularly intrusive for people. It’s hard to focus on work and getting through the day when inundated with these disruptive messages. While you might be getting some political text messages from campaigns you’ve opted into, suspicious and wholly unwanted messages might trickle in as well.

Understanding Political Spam Texts

Most political spam texts happen in the context of campaigns you’ve opted into. Per stringent legal requirements for campaigns and other entities, you have to opt in to receive text messages from political campaigns before they send them.

How do political campaigns get your phone number? When you make a donation or subscribe for updates, you provide your number, and then they reach out. The key to knowing how to stop political texts starts with you: do not opt-in when you donate or offer up your other information.

Let’s say you contribute to a local political candidate and opt-in. Your number gets passed up the chain. If you voted for a candidate attached to a political party, that means you’ll get notifications about other elections at the state and national level as well. One minute, you’re hoping to provide grassroots support for a neighbor running for Congress, but the next day, a former president might be appealing to you via text to vote or phone bank.

The Impact of Political Spam Texts

Political texts often come when you don’t want them: in the middle of your workday, in the middle of meetings, when you’re getting ready to go to bed at night, or when you’re preparing a meal for yourself and your family.

Privacy concerns are valid: once you give your number out to one candidate or find your number given to them without your permission, political spam texts keep coming.

How to Stop Receiving Political Spam Texts

To stop political spam text, you need to be aggressive and responsive. Most legitimate political spam messages and political SMS communications will have requisite opt-out instructions attached to them. Usually, the text will tell you to reply with ‘unsubscribe’ if you wish to opt-out.

Type the message correctly, send it, and await your confirmation. If the number is legit, this means you won’t get more messages from them. If not, there’s a potential complication: a spammer could know they’ve gotten a real phone number, and they might try a different type of scam in the future to steal your money.

You may also find that you’ll get messages from multiple candidates via one number, which is a legal way to send so many messages for a variety of causes, such as fundraising and calls to action. While one message might ask for funds, another may convince a recipient to speak to their congressperson or show up to a march.

Blocking a specific number is especially effective when it comes to that. Different phones (iPhones, Google Numbers, and other phones) have varying instructions for blocking numbers. Generally, you should block a number by accessing the recent text or call.

You can also report unwanted robocalls and political SMS messages to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates campaign communications in an attempt to keep candidates honest.

The most surefire way to avoid interaction with spammers and to stop political spam texts is to block unwanted numbers diligently.

Rules and Regulations Around Political Spam Texts

Political candidates are exempt from some of the rules companies must follow. This means they aren’t put on do-not-call lists like regular companies. Even if you didn’t opt in, the candidate is technically permitted to contact you (opting in just makes the reality of political spam texts more likely).

If you get an excessive number of these texts and want to know how to block political texts, you may have to resort to reporting the number to the FCC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you know how to block political spam texts? Let’s take a look at the details.

  • Are political spam texts legal? Yes — and they have more leeway than regular businesses.
  • Why am I receiving political spam texts? The candidates want to use any legal means possible to get their campaign messages out there. It’s also possible you’ve opted into a list in the past.
  • Can I prevent my number from being shared with political campaigns? Since voter registration is generally a public process (there are court-related exceptions), you can’t do much to stop these texts.

To stop the texts, you can take the following specific actions:

  • Forward the political SMS message to “SPAM” (the number 7726)
  • Text STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE, even if the message doesn’t provide that option — it may still work. ENDALL and CANCEL are other prospective opt-out keywords to try.
  • If you have an iPhone, change the “filter unknown senders” setting under Messages>settings.
  • If you’re using an Android, select “Details” from your text’s drop-down menu and choose “block number.”
  • You can also Google the campaign and reach out to them via the contact form or email to opt-out.

Lastly, you can also consider using an app such as Robokiller to prevent spam messages.


Knowing how to stop political spam texts is critical in an age of election interference, spamming, and legitimate political campaigning. The safest way to engage in the practice of stopping political SMS spam is to block incoming political spam relentlessly. If you find a frequent offender, it’s always best to report it to the FTC: after all, they’re targeting thousands of other Americans who simply want to go about their day and vote when the time comes.

If you’re certain a number is legitimate, or if you’re getting campaign-related texts from a campaign in a state you no longer reside in, you can opt-out by unsubscribing.