Financial concerns are already affecting large portions of the country, but now increased scams threaten some of the most vulnerable Americans.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has noticed an increase in scam text messages, something it is working to resolve.
- In the last year, the FCC reported that it had received over 18,000 complaints about spam or scam text messages.
- Often these messages come from unknown numbers. Some may appear on the recipient’s phone as invalid or unused, Fox Business reports.
- Security experts warn that recipients of these messages should be careful not to respond to these messages, or they may put their financial or personal information at risk.
Why it’s news
Text scams can place some of the most vulnerable Americans at particular risk. Older users who may not be as familiar with common scams may fall victim to these attempts. Many texting scams try to impersonate someone in the victim’s contact list.
In the last year, the number of texting scams has only grown. Last year, Americans received around 225 billion spam texts, an 88 billion increase from the year before, Fox Business reports.
Scammers can easily acquire a list of phone numbers and send out mass text messages. The effort is minimal, and the cost is low, while potential payoffs for the scam can be lucrative.
As the number of spam texts has increased, the number of Americans falling victim to these scams has also grown. In 2022, Americans lost around $20 billion to text scams—double the $10 billion from 2021, according to text spam blocker app Robokiller.
Some of the most common scams are messages that look like they are from a friend or are accidentally sent to the wrong number. They frequently feature a link. The scammer asks the recipient to click the link to view a profile, video, or photo.
Other messages will appear as if they are from a bank or claim that the recipient has won a prize and must click the link to collect it.
No matter what form the spam text appears in, the best way to protect against potential scams is to remember never to click on suspicious links or links sent from unfamiliar numbers.