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How to stop malware from automatically sending SMS using your airtime or credit on your Android phone

android phone keeps automatically sending out SMS

Its bad enough that our service providers debit our airtime at will, its even more alarming that malware have joined the race with a very aggressive strategy. Not too long ago, I discussed the Time Service and Monkey Test Malware (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-remove-privacy-guard-easy-tool-monkey-test-and-time-service-malware-from-an-mtk-mediatek-android-phone/ if you missed it). In that article, I explained how malware infect your Android phone, how to identify malware related activities and how to weed out the menace. Today, I’ll be taking you through another type of malware that also makes money off you, only in a more parasitic way.

How does this automatic SMS sending malware work?

The malware requires an internet connection so you would often notice the automatic sending of SMS once data is enabled or you are connected to  a Wi-Fi Hotspot. The malware sends the SMS (at regular intervals) to premium numbers and the hacker gets a cut of whatever you are charged.

Apart from malware, could there be any other reason why my Android phone keeps sending SMS to an unknown number?

Yes, quite a number. In some cases, its an error in your phone’s software. In this instance, the software is trying to register your phone by sending certain informations to your service provider’s servers. The auto-sms bug could also be caused by installed apps, especially voicemail, SMS and call managers. On rear occasions, its caused by an error in your default SMS app causing it to resend an already sent SMS to the same number over and over.

How do I stop my Android phone from automatically sending SMS?

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Some fixes to consider include:

1. Clear SMS cache: Navigate to Settings > Apps > All > Locate your SMS app > Force stop it and clear data > Reboot the phone

2.  Freeze / Delete GN_SalesStatistic and GN_SalesTrack_GL: This fix is unique to Gionee users. For other brands, search for similar apps. To do this

Android phone keeps sending SMS to 0095

3. Install Handcent Next SMS: This app is a third party SMS app with many cool features. The feature of interest is the confirm before sending SMS setting.

Download and Install Handcent Next SMS at https://hovatek.com/redirect.php?link=https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.handcent.app.nextsms

Launch Handcent Next SMS and select Yes to make it your default SMS app

how to black sms sending malware

Tap close to exit the Release notes popup

Handcent next sms apk

You should now be in your Inbox, tap the menu icon at the top (three parallel horizontal bars beside Inbox)

how to block malware from sending sms without your authorization

Tap the Settings Gear icon at the bottom

how to confirm before sending an SMS on an android phone

Tap Send message settings

how to configure or change android SMS settings

Scroll down to Send message confirm

how to block automatic sms senders

Set Send message confirm to On

how to control or monitor sms sending

3. Uninstall suspicious apps: Uninstall suspicious and newly installed applications as the problem could be coming from an app.

4. Run a malware / virus scan: Install a good antivirus like 360 security , Stopbadapp , AVG , Ghost Push Trojan Killer, Avast or Malwarebytes and scan the phone.

5. Do a factory reset: You could do a factory reset in recovery mode (see https://forum.hovatek.com/thread-479.html for how to boot into recovery mode) or under Settings > Backup & Reset

6. Wipe then re-install firmware: Depending on the Chipset the phone is running on, wipe the phone then re-install the stock ROM / firmware (or a different one). For Mediatek, use SP flash tool (https://forum.hovatek.com/thread-159.html), For Spreadtrum, use Upgrade Download tool (https://forum.hovatek.com/thread-1231.html).

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