Getting spam text messages on your cell phone can be more than annoying. They can rob you of your hard-earned money and even open you up to identify theft.
A new report by RoboKiller.com, a spam and robocall blocking service, shows that Americans have received more than 78 billion spam text messages so far this year. That’s an 18% year-over-year increase from the first half of 2022.
According to the report, Americans have lost $13 billion to text scams in 2023 so far. Robokiller predicts that number to significantly increase in the latter part of the year and into 2024.
The report covers robotexts, spam texts as well as scam texts received by Americans from January to June 2023.
In this article, we’ll go over what kinds of spam messages people are getting as well as the steps you can take to stop getting spam text messages.
Can Clicking on a Spam Text Be Dangerous?
Clicking on spam texts can expose your phone to cybersecurity threats, including identity theft. And according to the report, many spam texts can be dangerous such as delivery-related spam texts, which try to get you to divulge your address or other personal information.
Money expert Clark Howard plays it safe by making sure to never click on text links sent from phone numbers he doesn’t recognize.
“When you receive a text and you don’t know the sender or even if you do know the sender and there’s a link in there they want you to click on, I wouldn’t click on the link unless it’s somebody you absolutely know with certainty.”
Here Are the Top Spam Text Categories for 2023
|Top Spam Text Topics||# of Spam Texts in U.S.|
|Apple + Hardware||141,134,560|
What You Can Do About Spam Text Messages
Here are some tips.
Never Tap on Suspicious Links
Receive a strange link in your text message? Don’t tap on it. If you do, it could ask you for your sensitive information or it could expose you to malware that infects your device.
Malware, short for “malicious software,” could be anything that can cause damage by infecting your device. It can take the form of content, executable code, scripts and more.
The best thing for you to do is delete the link.
Report the Sender
You can report spam text messages to your wireless provider and the Federal Communications Commission by forwarding the texts to 7726 (SPAM).
For a fuller explanation, read up on how to report spam text messages.
Block the Sender
- For iPhone: Open your call log and tap the “i” (information) button next to the number you want to block. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap on “Block this Caller.”
- For Android: Depending on the type of Android phone you have, settings may vary. For Samsung models (like my wife’s Galaxy), once you open the phone app, tap More > Settings > Block Numbers. Enter the number you want to block and tap “Add.”
Remember, never tap on any suspicious links. And whether the request comes through a text, email or phone call, never give any of your personal information to someone you don’t know.
Want to learn more? Read our guide on how to handle a random text message.