Spam text messages are on the rise in the U.S. and scammers are getting millions of dollars. The average American received roughly 44 spam texts just in the month of June, according to new data from RoboKiller, an app that blocks spam calls and texts.
It’s a lucrative business for criminals. FTC data shows Americans have reported losing $64 million to fraud schemes initiated by text in the first quarter of 2022, a 220% increase when compared to the same time period in 2021. Last May, the FCC introduced new rules to try and stop illegal robocalls that originate outside the U.S. from entering American phone networks. This followed a report released by the FTC showing that consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, an increase of more than 70 percent over the previous year.
While the newly adopted guidelines do not extend to text messages, FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced a proposal in October to craft rules that would require wireless providers to block illegal text messaging.
“In a world where so many of us rely heavily on texting to stay connected with our friends and family, ensuring the integrity of this communication is vitally important,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. Her plan has not yet been voted on by the agency as reported by Axios.
Both the FCC and the FCC publish information to help consumers be on the lookout for warning signs. Both agencies ask consumers to report scams to their websites.