I am receiving an SMS from Info on an iPhone running iOS 13. There is no contact Info in my address book. Does this perhaps mean that the sender suppresses her address/telephone number? Or what else can cause this?

UPDATE I should clarify that the exact scenario is as follows: I'm sending an SMS to a phone number; for what I know there is a person at the other end. A few minutes later the response arrives from Info (e.g. hence the iOS Messages app shows it in a new thread, which is somewhat inconvenient.)

  • The Reply All podcast had a fascinating episode about this topic. Basically, the direct advertising industry managed to persuade (i.e. corrupt) the US legislators to completely deregulate this facility. At the time only big companies were able to send bulk SMS so the danger was not immediately apparent, but now it seems there is no way to go back.
    – tripleee
    Sep 9, 2022 at 6:10

2 Answers 2


Since your device didn’t assign the name, it came from caller ID

Contact your carrier for details of how and why they vet those names or if they just let people feed data claiming to be whatever sender they want and easily spoof (Lie to) the caller ID system.

Your carrier and national cell phone regulator would be the people to look at if and how SMS naming is being regulated or if the carriers can do whatever they please in terms of naming and whether you get to know who sent that SMS.

  • Thx & FYI I've updated the question with additional information.
    – Drux
    Nov 26, 2019 at 7:11

I receive messages from BX-ZZZZZ where ZZZ is my bank's abbreviation. So some services can message under alphabets too. They need to get registered somewhere.

Searching, I stumbled upon https://www.fast2sms.com/help/sender-id-create/ which claims to register you for a time period during which all your SMSs will be sent under your custom business abbreviation.

  • That is just an odd-on service for a particular bulk SMS provider; they may or may not be registering that Caller ID against any kind of regulator. I know in the US there are rules about ensuring users can opt out, but even there, I'm not sure you have to pre-register the Caller ID with any authority.
    – IMSoP
    Nov 25, 2019 at 18:06
  • my usage of register was not strictly regulatory, even signing up for websites seems to be enough. I find the process similar to buying domains on sites like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoDaddy
    – anki
    Nov 25, 2019 at 20:24

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