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TMCNet:  Robocall Record: 7.4 Billion Spam Texts Surpass Total Robocalls By More Than 1 Billion Messages In March 2021

[April 01, 2021]

Robocall Record: 7.4 Billion Spam Texts Surpass Total Robocalls By More Than 1 Billion Messages In March 2021

NEW YORK, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- RoboKiller, the app that helps eliminate spam calls and text messages, reveals Americans received a staggering 7.4 billion spam text messages in March - a 37% increase from February 2021. Spam calls were no different, hitting a record 6.3 billion in March 2021 and surpassing October 2020's previous high of 6.1 billion.

March's record-breaking totals mark a key inflection point in the fight against phone scams. With more Americans now wary of answering phone calls from unknown numbers, recent trends show that scammers are relying more heavily on the use of text messages as their weapon of choice to steal from more Americans over the phone.

The rise in spam calls and texts is not unexpected. In mid-2020, RoboKiller anticipated spam calls and text messages could return to normal levels or beyond as COVID-19 related hindrances to spammers' phone scam operations, especially quarantine orders, were lifted. Spammers typically thrive during times of uncertainty and economic stress because it can be easier for the more vulnerable to fall victim to their scams. 

MARCH 2021 KEY FINDINGS

Spam Text Messages Make Their Presence Known

Spam text messages continue to grow month over month, reaching record levels at 7.4 billion in March. The previous record was only two months ago, in January 2021, with 6 billion spam text messages, showing that spam text messages are rapidly on the rise and show no signs of slowing down. 

Top Five Most Spam-Texted States Per Capita:



State

Total Estimated Spam Text Messages

Estimated Spam Texts Per Person

Texas

852,572,855

36

Georgia

284,349,854

32

Illinois

301,190,677

28

California

735,978,807

22

Florida

394,403,427

22

Spam Calls Reach New Record Levels, Too

Recent trends indicate spam calls will increase drastically in 2021 as scammers attempt to recover from the impact COVID-19 had on their operations. Monthly spam call totals in the United States have increased by an average of roughly 10% each month starting in June 2020.

March exceeded February's 5.6 billion by 12%, proving that scammers mean business in 2021, and any American who owns a smartphone should be prepared for a flood of unwanted calls.

Top Phone Scams:
In March, the top phone scam was vehicle warranty-related at 17% of total spam calls, followed by health insurance-related calls at 8% and vacation-related scams at 6%.

Top Five Most Spam-Called States Per Capita:

State

Total Estimated Spam Calls

Estimated Spam Calls Per Person

Texas

801,654,873

33

Georgia

269,255,878

30

Ohio

295,768,288

30

North Carolina

241,636,088

27

Florida

467,513,366

26

Spam Text Message Explosion: What's The Impact?
According to the FTC, in 2020, 2.2 million Americans reported losses totaling $3.3 billion to digital fraud - a whopping 73% increase from 2019's $1.9 billion. Of those 2020 fraud reports, 27% said the contact method was a text message, while 31% reported the contact method was a phone call, showing spam text messages are just as large of a problem as spam calls, if not larger.. As these scams reach record-breaking levels and economic stress from the COVID-19 pandemic grows, it's likely total consumer losses to phone fraud will continue to worsen in 2021.

What Is Being Done To Stop Robocalls?
Recently the FCC fined two Texas-based telemarketing companies $255 million for making automated robocalls in 2019. This is the largest fine to date and part of an expanded effort to stop automated robocalls. Since the FCC announcement, RoboKiller has noticed a slight dip in health insurance-related spam calls but anticipates this drop could be temporary.

In addition, The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act was signed into law in 2019 to help protect consumers from spam calls. One important requirement for this law is that voice service providers (VoIP) must implement STIR/SHAKEN, which uses digital certificates to authenticate calls, determine their legitimacy, and inform use cases such as labeling potential spam calls as "scam likely." Most larger phone carriers will be required to enact STIR/SHAKEN by June 2021 in an attempt to restrict caller ID spoofing. Smaller phone carriers have exemptions lasting until 2023 and, in some cases, beyond.

Tips on How to Stop Phone Scams:

  • Don't answer phone calls from unknown phone numbers, especially those that call or text at odd hours.
  • Never provide personal, banking, or sensitive information over the phone to any caller.
  • Don't follow any prompts like "Press 1" or click any links.
  • Download a spam call and text blocker like RoboKiller to equip your phone with the latest phone-scam-fighting technology. Apps like RoboKiller use global databases of millions of known scams to prevent them from reaching you in the first place.

RoboKiller's Data Insights
These national robocall and spam text insights are provided by RoboKiller, the only app that eliminates 99% of spam calls in the United States. RoboKiller's Robocall Insights is powered by its global database of millions of known phone scams and audio fingerprints. This data is estimated by monitoring observed robocall and spam text trends for Americans who have trusted RoboKiller to stop their spam calls and has been featured by major media publications since its release in 2018.  

For a comprehensive analysis of robocall trends in specific cities, states, and area codes, details on particular phone scams, or any other related custom inquiries, please contact RoboKiller's robocall insights team here or at pr@robokiller.com.

With more than 12 million downloads to date, RoboKiller has been named a leader in technical and mobile achievement by the Webby Awards, Media Excellence, Best in Business, and more. RoboKiller was also named the most effective solution to robocalls by the FTC as the winner of the most recent Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back competition. RoboKiller is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. To learn more about RoboKiller, visit www.robokiller.com.  

About RoboKiller:
RoboKiller is the leading independent spam call blocker in the United States. RoboKiller's predictive spam call blocking technology uses A.I. and machine-learning to intercept an incoming spam call in less than 0.01 second. RoboKiller then deploys its army of spam-call-fighting Answer Bots to waste scammers' time and resources, preventing them from placing thousands of spam calls each minute. Since its launch in 2017, RoboKiller has helped more than 10 million Americans prevent approximately $140M losses to phone scams and live their lives spam-call-free™. RoboKiller, a Teltech brand, is a division of Mosaic Group, an IAC Company (NASDAQ: IAC).

 

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SOURCE RoboKiller


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