I am sometimes getting SMS messages in iMessage app from empty contacts. Such contact has a name (even it’s not in my contacts), but doesn’t have a phone number or email address. Hence, “Block this Caller” doesn’t work.

Bonus question: How it is possible that Messages app accepts such SMS messages anyway?

Main question How to block such SMS messages or enable some option that will prevent SMS without a phone number?

Here is an example of such empty contact. No phone number, no email - “Block” button doesn’t work.

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1 Answer 1


SMS delivery is something your cellular carrier has the most control over. They make money delivering SMS so the trick is to convince them to let you not receive “fake” sms with bogus caller ID. That really varies by carrier and region so once you’re sure you’ve configured you SMS service as you want it, then the iOS settings are next best thing to try.

  1. Contact your carrier - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204039
  2. Use Apple settings - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201229

Filtering all unknown SMS and using do not disturb work best for me, but you may have to experiment with the controls to find your best mix of getting messages you want, not seeing those you don’t need to see immediately and engaging blocks on ones that are annoying pests.

In the end, you can’t block a number that doesn’t get reported correctly from the carrier or that you don’t know. Apple has a service added to allow third party applications to screen your calls - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207099 but this doesn’t (yet) work for potentially screening junk messages.

  • If a caller's number isn't reported correctly by the carrier, or is spoofed to appear as a local number, won't that call still get blocked as the number is not in my Contacts? Isn't that what Silence Unknown Callers does? Apr 19, 2021 at 16:26
  • @DavidSupportsMonica sms doesn’t get silenced as part of calls in my experience. I did kind of mix the two in my answer since Apple does provide more options there and sometimes people confuse the two.
    – bmike
    Apr 19, 2021 at 16:35
  • True enough. I wasn't distinguishing between sms and calls in my comment either. Sigh. Apr 19, 2021 at 17:24
  • 1
    I have contacted my carrier (AIS in Thailand). I have turned off all the SMS ads. But I am still getting SMS ads. Apple Settings don't work here as well. Because: - I cannot block by phone number or email, because these SMS ads don't have numbers and emails, just name - Filtering only sends unknown contacts to another folder, but I am still getting notifications (on previous iOS there were no notifications from unknown contacts with the same option) - These SMS ads have no Report Junk button. Only some messages that do have number or email, but the empty ones don't Not solved yet :/
    – mallow
    May 24, 2021 at 7:22

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