spam

How can I stop annoying text messages?

Episode 1566

Christina from Lake Elsinor, CA

Christina keeps getting text messages from a number she doesn't recognize. And it's creepy. Leo says sometimes those messages are spoofed with a number id that doesn't exist and it's largely SPAM. Not much you can do but have your cellphone company block them. If it's the same number. If the number changes, it's a real problem to stop it. And if it's harassment, it may be a crime.

Has my email been hacked?

Episode 1560

Suzanne from Placentia, CA

Suzanne uses Hotmail and all of a sudden, she's getting hundreds of spam from subscribed newsletters. She also got an email about an order for a GoPro camera bought at Walmart. Leo suspects that someone doesn't like Suzanne or has stolen her identity. It's a new scam where hackers overwhelm your email address with bulk emails to distract you from the actual identity theft going on. It's called "Chaff." The idea is to be so overwhelmed with spam and bulk emails, you miss the stolen credit card activity. Shame on companies that allow signups without a double opt-in via email.

How can I block robocalls?

PreFixer

Episode 1532

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary has Google Fi and would like to block calls by area code. Leo says that robocalls are the bane of smartphones and studies show that by next year, up to 80% of all calls will be robocalls to cell phones. Blocking an area code is extreme, but Leo says that Google is working on a technology that will route robo calls, or require them to identify themselves. Google Voice already does that. There's also an app called PreFixer which will block a number by prefix.

Why is my email going into my friend's spam filter?

Email

Episode 1524

Richard from Los Angeles, CA

Richard has been having problems emailing a friend because his emails go into her spam folder. Rich says that she may have accidentally marked one of his emails as spam by mistake and Yahoo is now looking at all of his emaiil as spam. He should go into her spam folder and click on the message to report as "not spam". She can also mark his email as a safe sender, and create a filter that will reroute the email back into her inbox.

Am I getting spam?

Episode 1501

Earl from Alpine, CA

Earl has an iMac and a Samsung phone. He's getting email from someone he just had a conversation with via email, though it isn't him. Leo says it's possibly being spoofed, where the sending address has been added using his own contacts. Check the headers. Chances are, it's just spam.

How can I prevent getting spam?

Gmail icon

Episode 1478

Terry from Bozeman, MT

Terry's computer has gotten old enough that it can't be updated anymore. How can she set up a new computer so that it won't get spam? Leo says that free email is prone to spam, but each has varying degrees of spam filters. Gmail has really good spam filters, for instance. Leo recommends Gmail and she can have it go get her Outlook mail, then filter out the spam. She can also keep the mail on the webmail server, so it never stays on her computer.

How can I get rid of spam in Outlook?

Gmail Icon

Episode 1477

Larry from Burbank, CA

Larry is tired of spam and wants to know how to get rid of it in Outlook. Leo says to wash the email through Gmail. He can open an account at Gmail, and then have it pick up his Outlook mail. That way Google will wash the spam out of his email and then he can pick it up through his Outlook client. That's free. There is a paid service called OnlyMyEmail, but Leo says that Gmail does a great job.