September Witnesses Highest Robotext Surge To-Date

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  October 10, 2022

The iPhone 14 was recently released and iOS users looking to get the new device are ecstatic. Well, that isn’t the case for millions of Americans who were flooded with text messages about rebates and upgrades related to Apple (News - Alert) products.

Scammers knew the iPhone 14 was trending and jumped on that bandwagon to contribute to the 15.6 billion robotexts Americans received in September, according to Robokiller. This is a 43% increase from August. It’s becoming an unfortunate trend – spikes in robotexts regularly coincide with major news, since scammers know the probability of luring someone into responding is greater.

The September total stays in line with RoboKiller's Mid-Year Phone (News - Alert) Scam Report prediction that Americans will lose upward of $28 billion to robotexts in 2022, a 150% increase from 2021's $11 billion.

Although robotexts related to Apple’s iPhone 14 and sweepstakes rose by 160% from August, RoboKiller reported that bogus emails from delivery services, such as Amazon, FedEx, USPS (News - Alert) and UPS, reached over the 1 billion mark. These texts alert the consumer that a package is unable to be delivered with a malicious link attached to it, hoping to trick people into clicking on them.

It is worrying to see these numbers continue an upward trend. However, there is room for optimism. The FCC (News - Alert) created a plan to take action to reduce the frequency of these harmful messages. This plan will coincide with RoboKiller Enterprise's release of its 99% effective robotext protection for businesses, which likewise aims to eliminate risky text messages.

These efforts should be a sigh of relief. However, consumers do need to take extra precautions with basic practices against robotexts and robocalls. If a phone call or text is received from an unknown number, especially at odd hours, don’t answer. Never follow prompts such as “Press 1” or click links. Also, sensitive personal information should never be shared.

Consumers also have the option to download a spam text and call blocker like RoboKiller to equip their phone with the latest technology to stop scams. RoboKiller, which has more than 12 million downloads and $400 million in losses prevented, is available for download on the Apple Store and Google (News - Alert) Play store.

The robotext numbers were high in September. With October already seeing an influx of text messages with “gift cards,” only time will tell if the month’s numbers will exceed those of September.

Edited by Erik Linask