You’re leisurely browsing through your phone on a holiday night when you see text messages in the outbox that you’re sure you didn’t compose.
That’s where one of our most common digital-age fears comes true: sending wrong text messages to people you shouldn’t.
Where did your phone pick up the ability to send texts on its own?
Isn’t it too soon for technology to take over our lives?
This post explores all the possible reasons that make a phone send messages that you didn’t write.
My Phone Sent A Text On Its Own (Troubleshooting)
1. Make Sure It’s Not A Community-Wide Problem
Before getting to the bottom of the issue, make sure it’s not happening across many devices of the brand you have.
Go online and search the user community of your device or look for Reddit threads reporting the same issues as yours.
If many users are experiencing the same issue simultaneously, the problem most likely isn’t device-specific.
You should inform your mobile phone maker’s customer support and wait for them to address the issue.
For example, different Samsung Galaxy users reported the same problem on this Reddit thread.
The problem may be a glitch or bug due to a recent update that the manufacturer has to resolve.
Until then, you could disable the messaging app and use other alternatives such as Google’s Android Messages.
You could uninstall the latest updates and go back to the previous update and see if it resolves the issue.
2. Check If It’s Repeated Or One Time Only
The severity of this issue depends on the frequency of the messages that your phone sends on its own.
If it happened only one time and didn’t repeat, you could safely assume that you may have sent it unknowingly.
For example, you may have pocket dialed a number and sent a message by accident.
Maybe you accidentally hit the “reply with a message” option when someone called you.
However, if it repeats over time, when you were using your phone (and weren’t sleeping, for example), a serious issue may be the culprit.
3. Make Sure Someone Else Didn’t Send The Text
You should then check that someone else wasn’t using your phone when the text was sent.
Since this issue is very rare, you will want to look for reasons outside the phone system first.
If you have a child at home, ask them if they used your phone when the message got sent.
Make sure the adults who live with you didn’t access your phone to send the message for any reason, like joking or messing with your contacts.
4. Check For Unsent Messages
When your phone sends a message that you didn’t write, it’s weird and needs careful investigation.
However, if you see that a message you wrote was sent without your knowledge, it may be due to carrier problems.
For example, you may have written the text and hit the “send” button, but it failed due to carrier failure or lack of signal.
Then, you deleted the text, thinking the message failed.
After the phone got its signal back, the carrier sent the text even though you deleted the message.
5. Check Third-Party Apps
You may have recently installed an app with permission to access your contacts and messages, and this app may be the culprit.
To make sure that’s not the issue, try running your phone in safe mode.
This way, your phone only runs with apps that were installed by the manufacturer.
To boot your android or iOS smart device in safe mode,
Press and hold the device’s power button.
When the option “Power Off” appears, tap and hold it.
Here, you should get a prompt saying, “Reboot to Safe Mode,” so tap Ok to start the safe mode.
However, depending on your mobile phone’s brand, you may need to go through different steps to enable the safe mode.
For example, you need to press the volume button on some smart devices after pressing the home button.
It’s better to search your phone’s brand name and how to go into the safe mode.
Try to keep your phone in safe mode for at least 24 hours to ensure a third-party app isn’t causing the problem.
If your phone doesn’t send any messages during this period, you can be sure that an app is the main culprit.
Look for the app by remembering when the issue started and going through all the recently installed apps.
Your problem should go away by simply uninstalling the troublesome app.
To get out out of the safe mode, simply restart your phone or open the notification panel and tap the “Safe Mode Enabled” option.
If you still have the issue in the safe mode, some malware may be sending out these messages.
The only solution here is to factory reset your phone.
Make sure to get a backup of all your important files and data and then restore your phone to factory settings.
Note. Instead of running your device in safe mode, you can use the battery saver mode, too. This mode also stops third-party apps from running in the background.
6. Someone May Be Using Spoof Apps
Spoof apps allow users to hide their phone numbers and send messages or phone calls to prank their friends.
Here’s a likely scenario that shows someone is pranking you using a spoof app:
One of your contacts calls you and tells you about a suspicious text they received from you.
No matter how much you search your phone, you can’t see the message.
In other words, the text is visible only on the receiver’s end, not the sender’s end (which is you).
That’s a relief because you can be sure that there’s nothing wrong with your phone.
You need to work with the person who received the text, though, to find out who’s trying to mess with you and your friend.
7. Force-Close Your Messaging App
Sometimes the messaging app may be causing the issue due to temporary glitches.
It would help if you force-close the messaging app and open it again.
The way to force-close apps on smartphones depends on the brand and even the model.
For example, iPhone X and later models are different from iPhone 8 and earlier models.
If you have an iPhone X or later model,
Open the phone’s Home Screen, touch the bottom of the screen and swipe up, and when you reach the middle of the screen, pause.
From there, swipe left or right to reach the messaging app.
When you see the app’s preview, swipe up to force the app to close.
If you have iPhone 8 and earlier models, iPhone SE, and iPod touch,
Get to the most recently used apps by double-tapping the home button.
Swipe left or right to find the messaging app.
Swipe up and close the app.
To force-close the messaging app on an Android device,
Go to the “Settings” app.
Find the “Apps” option, tap on “see all apps,” and find the messaging app among them.
Tap on the app and select the “Force Close” option.
Before using the above option, you may want to close the messaging app via the multitasking interface.
Most Android devices have three icons located at the bottom of their screens.
The multitasking interface is either three vertical lines or a square-shaped button.
Tap on this icon to view the most recently viewed apps.
When you get to the messaging app, swipe up and away to close it.
8. Check For Hardware Problems
Sometimes a faulty touch screen can be the real cause behind this issue.
That’s particularly the case if you see your phone doing other things without you taking any action.
The problem may happen due to physical damages, including moisture, high or low temperature, static electricity, or magnetic fields.
Sometimes a malicious app drains the performance of the phone and causes it to crash or work improperly.
In any case, if you think your faulty touch screen is causing the unwanted text messages, take it to a qualified technician to fix it.
9. Look For Security Threats
If the reasons mentioned above aren’t the real cause and your phone keeps sending texts on its own at different times of the day, your phone may have a serious problem.
You need to check if someone has hacked your phone or your Google account and accessed your phone number attached to it.
Another problem could be some malware that you accidentally downloaded to your phone, and it’s taking over your text messaging.
If you think you have recently downloaded something fishy, run a virus scan to make sure your phone is clean and virus-free.
Plus, never download anything from places other than trusted app stores to avoid such problems in the first place.
What To Do If Your Phone Is Hacked?
When a mobile phone sends text messages on its own, it’s one of the classic signs that the phone has been hacked.
If you are still in doubt, you can make sure by checking for the following signs:
Increased data usage. Sometimes newly installed apps may lead to data usage that is higher than normal. If you haven’t recently installed an app, some malware or hackers may be behind the issue.
Apps that you haven’t installed. If you’ve recently gotten your phone, it’s not uncommon to see apps that you don’t recognize. If you’ve had your phone for a while and see new apps that you haven’t installed, your phone may be infected by malware.
Weird ads and inappropriate pop-ups. If you don’t use the free version of apps, there’s no reason for seeing ads on your screen. Flashing ads that appear out of nowhere or pop-ups containing inappropriate material are signs of malware.
Increased battery use. If you haven’t changed anything on your phone, your battery usage should remain the same. Any unusual battery status, like your battery draining faster than usual, can indicate hacking or malware. That’s because some processes are running in the background, draining your battery, and making your device hotter than usual.
Fishy background noise. Electronic interference on mobile phones is a common issue among users who have hacked phones. When you’re on a call, look out for any noises such as clicks or echoing sounds.
Why Does Your Phone Get Hacked?
Hackers use a host of different ways to access your phone, but almost none of them can be successful without action on your part.
The following actions may help hackers gain access to your mobile phone:
1. Downloading A Suspicious App
As mentioned earlier, getting the app from anywhere but the official app stores is risky.
Always download your apps from Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
If you want to make sure the app is reliable, always read the reviews online.
An app with an overwhelming majority of positive reviews is trustworthy and reliable.
What’s more, you should always pay attention to the app’s developer and make sure it’s trusted.
For example, there’s no developer for the Gmail app except for Google LLC.
2. Clicking On Untrusted Links
Safely navigating the online world is challenging with all the new sources, pages, websites, and links you come across everywhere.
You should try your best to stay away from suspicious and malicious links.
Never click on unsolicited links from emails or text messages.
If you receive an email from an unknown source with a downloadable attachment, avoid clicking on it.
If you must click on a link and aren’t sure about its safety, different online tools help you verify its integrity.
For example, Norton’s Safe Web can help you scan the link and stay away from online threats.
3. Allowing Apps From Unknown Sources
Android devices have a setting in their preferences that prevents you from installing apps from unknown sources.
Sometimes this feature can be a pain in the neck when you want to install an app that you know is safe, so you may decide to disable this option to install that app.
However, if you forget to enable it again, you’ll leave the doors open for hackers to install malicious software on your phone.
Thus, make sure the setting is on by taking the following steps:
Go to Settings > Security > Unknown Sources.
Make sure the option is unchecked to prevent suspicious apps from getting installed.
4. Using Outdated Apps
Mobile apps and software developers regularly release updates to address any bugs or security issues.
Make sure you install all new updates periodically and get them from the official app stores.
Using older versions of apps makes your phone vulnerable and raises the chances of cyber-attacks.
In addition, make sure your Google Play Protect is always enabled.
It’s a built-in malware scanner for all Android devices that scans and screens all the apps you want to install.
If it’s not enabled, hackers can easily gain access to your phone.
5. Using Unsecured Public WIFI
Public places such as coffee shops, hotels, airports, or shopping malls offer free access to the Internet via their public WIFI.
While it’s tempting to use the free Internet to check your email and social media pages, you’ll be putting yourself in danger of hacking.
These public WIFI services are popular among cybercriminals to intercept your connection and steal your data.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a reliable way to encrypt your data through a private tunnel.
However, suppose you want to access websites that need sensitive information, such as social media credentials or banking information.
In that case, it’s safer to use your cellular data and avoid public WIFI altogether.
How To Fix A Hacked Phone
If you’re sure that your phone has been hacked, you should first protect your contacts.
Tell them about the hacking incident, warn them not to open any links sent from your phone, and wait for you to notify them that the problem has been resolved.
Then, take the following steps to resolve the issue:
As mentioned earlier, when you realize that a new app is responsible for sending text messages, you should immediately uninstall it.
This may not be enough, though, because it may have already done the damage by installing malware and infecting your phone.
It’s also highly recommended that you run antivirus scans regularly to make sure your phone is virus-free.
After removing the malware, make sure to change all your passwords because they may have been compromised, too.
Choose complex passwords that are strong and hard to guess.
Also, change your passwords frequently to keep your accounts safe.