Spam texts: one of the great annoyances of the smartphone age. And a recent report indicates that, unfortunately, you may see a lot more of them in the future.
The projection comes from Robokiller.com, a spam and robocall blocking service. Its Mid-Year Phone Scam Report says that spam text messages are likely to rise in the remaining months of 2021. The report, based on fraud data from the Federal Trade Commission, also shows what kinds of spam messages you’re likely going to receive.
Here’s Why You May Get More Spam Texts This Year
Americans are expected to receive a total of 86 billion spam texts in 2021, according to Robokilller. That’s a 55% increase from 2020.
The report indicates that while wireless carriers have been focused on stopping robocalls, criminals have doubled down on spam texts. “In August 2020, total spam texts surpassed total robocalls in the United States for the first time in history,” the report says. “Continued average monthly spam text growth rates of approximately 5% in early 2021 indicate the problem is only going to get worse.”
Here are some other key findings from the report:
- Bank verification and account login text scams are expected to jump 50% for the year.
- Delivery text scams that were successful last year are expected to continue “especially around the holiday season,” the report says.
- Texts related to COVID-19 are projected to jump more than 100% by year’s end.
Let’s take a look at the top spam text message categories that are expected to increase, according to Robokiller.
Here Are the Estimated Top Spam Text Categories for 2021
|Top Text Spams||2020 Totals||Estimated 2021 Totals|
|Delivery Scams||2.4 Billion||3.7 Billion|
|COVID-19||420 Million||1 Billion|
|Apple + Device||344 Million||367 Million|
|Bank Scams||286 Million||435 Million|
|Vehicle Warranty + DMV||125 Million||272 Million|
|Account Login Scams||84.5 Million||145 Million|
What You Can Do About Spam Text Messages
You might be wondering what you can do about the spam text messages you’re currently receiving. Here are some tips.
Never Tap on Suspicious Links
Received 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.
The best thing for you to do is delete the link. You can also:
Report the Sender
You can report spam text messages to your wireless provider and the Federal Communications Commission by forwarding them to 7726 (SPAM).
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.