So, I've been having this problem recently where I get these extremely strange text messages being sent to my phone. They have no sender associated with them and just look like a bunch of gibberish. Here is a screenshot:

Currently, I am getting the same message multiple times every 5 minutes. At first I just sort of ignored it, and one day I decided I would just go ahead and delete all the messages. As soon as I deleted them, they just kept on coming back at 5-minute intervals.

I am on Sprint on the Nexus S 4G.

My phone has also been doing other weird things lately. Sometimes when I lay it flat on a surface, it will just reboot itself constantly. I'm not sure if this is related to the text messages or not.

Also, the messages only show up in the "Messaging" app which I don't really use. They don't show up in Google Voice at all.

I actually got some of these weird messages about a month ago, however they stopped for a good while. Today, I just decided to delete them, and now they've been coming in every 5 minutes. So far I've received 32 in the span of about an hour. I have not talked to Sprint about this, and I don't believe I have been charged for them. Also, I can't reply back to these messages. If I try to reply and I hit "send", it just tells me that the message was not sent.

Factory reset the phone. The messages are still coming in.

  • What can I say... talk to Sprint about it and get them to carry out a network trace on that into your number to find out the source of it... nothing more I can really do to help out... :(
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 22:37
  • But you can bet your ass that the gibberish character is outside of the font's capability to display it, arabic, chinese, who knows...
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 22:39
  • one other suggestion that I can offer is this - why not post to reddit.com/r/Android to see if anyone would know about it, most of the posters in that sub-reddit are US based and have hummm... moaned about US carriers etc. Worth a shot to try :)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 22:42

2 Answers 2


Questions for you:

  • Did you install an app recently?
  • What app did you last install?
  • How long was that going on for?
  • Have you checked with your Sprint provider? You're not getting charged for those incoming messages?

It sounds like mal-ware, but do not wish to raise alarm nor fear in you, BUT by answering my questions above to ascertain it.

Quite possibly, it sounds like a scam, if you were to reply innocently like "Who are you?" you could be charged premium rates for sending it.

As for the gibberish, its likely in a language that is not recognized by your handset hence the font shows the "gibberish" character as a result.

IF all else fails, try a factory reset the handset at last resort.

Edit: Based on your edit, it sounds like its stopped for a good while due to perhaps its hit the threshold limit of how many SMS to be stored, then when you went to delete them, more kept coming in.

The apps do seem legit.. btw :)

Would you not suggest try this, download this app called 'History Eraser' from Google Play, to wipe out the history of the SMS, just that specifically alone, and nothing else. See if that helps. If more are still coming in, then I hate saying this, factory reset the handset to clear out whatever it is that's causing the jam.

  • I don't remember the last app I installed so I'll just give you a list of everything I have installed. Edit: hit enter by mistake, let me finish the post
    – gooser
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 21:37
  • I have edited the original post with answers to your other questions, above are links to screenshots of apps I have installed.
    – gooser
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 21:47
  • Just did a factory reset on the phone. Messages still coming in...
    – gooser
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 22:31
  • wow! Oo thanks for the update! :o Sounds like you're being spammed by something somewhere... am surprised - very!
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 22:35

Try this, it's worked for me so far: Go into messaging settings and uncheck automatically retrieve MMS. Now delete the conversation; I haven't had any problems since.

  • Oo Very good! What was it? MMS message coming in? or a bug with Messaging app itself?
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 23:34
  • The messages have seemed to stop coming in all of a sudden without trying this fix. I think if they come back, I'm going to go ahead and call Sprint to ask them about it. Bob, are you also a Sprint user?
    – gooser
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 23:44
  • Yes. Interesting.
    – Bob
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 1:29
  • Messages are again being sent to my Nexus S today.
    – Bob
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 0:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .