Filed Under: Tech

The FCC shut the door on illegal robocalls, but spam texts are on the rise

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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.

MAHMOUD BENNETT:

AMERICANS ARE DROWNING IN SPAM

ACCORDING TO THE FTC – FRAUD WENT UP 70% LAST YEAR – THAT WAS ENOUGH FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ANNOUNCE SWEEPING NEW RULES IN MAY TO TRY AND PUT A STOP TO ROBOCALLS

BUT NOW DATA SHOWS SCAM BY TEXT AND EMAIL IS THE NEW TREND

I’VE BEEN GETTING LOTS OF THESE RECENTLY AND ACCORDING TO THE SPAM TRACKING APP ROBOKILLER THE AVERAGE AMERICAN RECEIVED 44 SPAM MESSAGES LIKE THESE IN JUNE  

SO FAR THIS YEAR AMERICANS HAVE LOST A REPORTED 64 MILLION DOLLARS TO FRAUD SCHEMES BY TEXT ALONE. THAT’S A 220% INCREASE FROM SAME QUARTER OF LAST YEAR

AND WHILE THE STANDARD ADVICE OF JUST BLOCKING NUMBERS OR NOT RESPONDING TO SPAM SEEMS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD – SCAMMERS ARE GETTING MORE SOPHISTICATED 

SENDING MESSAGES LIKE THESE – *PRETENDING* TO HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER – A NEW TACTIC THAT TWITTER USERS ARE CALLING A STEP UP FROM YOUR TYPICAL INSURANCE FRAUDSTER

FCC LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCED A PROPOSAL IN OCTOBER TO LOOK INTO TACKLING THESE ROBO TEXTS. 

IT’S YET TO BE TAKEN UP FOR A VOTE AND STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS HAS REACHED OUT FOR COMMENT

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.

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