After half a year development, spam protection in Android messages finally started rolling out earlier this month to some users. Google is likely one of the top guardians against spam out there, but even Gmail is prone to filtering out legitimate messages (which is why you should make it a habit to check your spam folder periodically).
The feature, which appears to be part of a limited server-side test, has appeared on some devices. However, the pop-up stresses Google can't see the content of messages.
Based on reports from a handful of tipsters, that spam protection feature is now going live, though not everyone seems to have it just yet. However, those who do are getting a pop up at the bottom of the app offering the feature and allowing you to turn it off.
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With spam protection enabled, some info about your messages is sent to Google without including the actual content or your phone number.
To work effectively, Messages will send some information about your messages to Google, and when spam is reported, reports "include a copy of the spammer's messages (up to 10)". It's actually nearly too easy to send an SMS, because you don't need to know the person who owns the line - you simply need to know the number exists.
Of course, you can also submit a manual spam report, which prompts the app to send the entire message to Google, including your and the sender's phone numbers. If you do, you can access it in Messages by tapping Settings Advanced Spam protection where you will find a simple enable/disable toggle.