Robocalls and Robotexts on the Rise Again

By Greg Tavarez April 10, 2023

It’s a Sunday afternoon – usually the perfect time for most to relax ahead of the upcoming work week. The phone rings and on the other line is someone saying to press 1 to claim a prize. Most hang up from there. Well, two hours passed, and the same thing happened again. If it hasn’t gotten to that level, this is the point where the robocall can become an annoyance.

Well, that is the case for most Americans throughout any day, week or month. In fact, Americans received 12.2 billion robotexts and 5.9 billion robocalls in March; increases of 13% and 23%, respectively, according to Robokiller Insights.

Americans experienced a decrease in robocalls in February due to the shorter month. However, in March, the number of robocalls rose again. Scammers focused on health insurance, financial service, and debt collector scams to target Americans.

The FCC (News - Alert) is doing everything it can to help Americans thwart off robocalls with an important technology, STIR/SHAKEN, as it helps prevent caller ID spoofing. However, it should be noted that like most technology, STIR/SHAKEN is not a foolproof system, and bad actors still find ways around it. That is why it is crucial to be cautious when receiving suspicious calls.

In response to the growing SMS threat, the FCC announced rules that require telecommunications operators to block suspicious text messages. The purpose of these efforts is to help combat the massive amounts of robotexts Americans receive monthly.

"The recent efforts by the FCC to combat robotexts is a step in the right direction," said Patrick Falzon, general manager at Teltech, creators of Robokiller. "We've seen steadfast efforts and signs of real success on the robocall front as the FCC continues to take down well-known scams. We hope the same efforts we've seen from the FCC will hold true to combating robotexts."

While the FCC attempts sorting that out, Americans are advised to stay on the lookout for prominent scams. Delivery and bank scams already cost Americans $7 billion in 2023 and could reach near $28 billion by the end of 2023, according to Robokiller.

Remember, don't answer phone calls or texts from unknown numbers, especially those that call or text at odd hours. Don't follow prompts like "Press 1" or click any links. Never provide personal information like banking details or other sensitive information.

Also, consumers can download spam text and call blockers like Robokiller. Using RoboKiller as an example, it uses advanced machine learning algorithms and AI to identify and block unwanted calls and texts in real-time. It is a useful tool for anyone who wants to reduce the number of fishy calls and texts they receive on their mobile phone.

Robocalls and robotexts have been a nuisance for far too long. Maybe a time will come when Americans answer their phones and read their text messages without fear of unwanted solicitations every single time.

Edited by Alex Passett
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