Published: May 10, 2012 11:21 PM EDT
Updated: May 10, 2012 11:42 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - You've probably memorized important phone numbers like 9-1-1 for an emergency and *69 to return a call, but if you have ever received a text message you didn't want from a person you didn't know, there's a new number you need to know!

You pay for your texts and it's illegal for anyone to send you unsolicited texts. Now we're going to tell you how to fight back against spam text messages.

When our Chief Investigator Melissa Yeager started getting spam messages on her phone, she started digging and found a way to stop them: 7726

"There is a number you can forward your text spam to: 7726," explained Michele Money-Carson, with AT&T. "That will actually get your carrier to start an investigation for you."

That's because it's against FCC regulations for anyone to send you an unsolicited text message because you have to pay for it.

It's also costly for the carriers whose network has to support the amount of text message spam and install barriers to prevent it.

"It really is a concern for all of the carriers, all of the text spam that is out there, because it may not seem like a big deal if you get one or two but if you think about the number of people getting it on a regular or daily basis, it can be very costly. So it is a concern for all the carriers," said Michele.

So if you get a message you didn't ask for., first reply "STOP" to the number. Then forward it to 7726.

You should also contact your carrier if you start getting too much text message spam to handle.

"Don't wait until the text spam is getting so frequent, or worse, it is starting to transmit viruses into your phone that can go into your computer," explained Michele.

Wireless carriers recommend protecting your cell phone number like your social security number, be careful where you give it out. Also, when you enter it online to place an order, make sure you uncheck any boxes that say they can share your number with other people. And finally, register your number, even your cell, with the national do not call list