Robotexts Skyrocket; Robocalls up Modestly in 2022: Robokiller

According to a new report from Robokiller, the number of robotexts exploded in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Americans received 225 billion robotexts for the year, representing a 157% increase from 2021 and the most significant increase on record. Just because robotexts have exploded doesn’t mean that scammers have forgotten about annoying robocalls, however. Robocalls increased 8% in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to Robokiller.

The relatively small increase in robocalls indicates that government actions to stem the rise are having some impact, according to Robokiller.

In 2021, the FCC rolled out STIR/SHAKEN, a mandatory regulation for voice service providers designed to stop caller ID spoofing. The FCC has shut down an illegal car warranty scam operation, which dropped those calls from 1 billion in June 2022 to fewer than 7 million by September. The FCC also asked carriers to stop carrying student loan robocalls, which have dropped 33% since the announcement.

Yet scammers are stealing more money than ever before, Robokiller reported. Americans lost $65 billion to robocalls in 2022, more than double that of 2021. Citing FTC, figures, Robokiller said the median money lost per phone scam is $1,500.

The government efforts to fight robocalls shifted scammers’ focus to robotexts, which surpassed robocalls for the third year in a row. Scammers sent a record 225 billion unwanted SMS messages and stole $20 billion from Americans, increases of 157% and 105%, respectively.

Source: Robokiller 2022 Phone Scam Insights Report

It is important to note that not all robotexts are scams.

The robotext increase is due, in part, to a 70% increase in marketing-related messages in November and December. Robokiller estimates that in 2022, “excluding brand marketing messages, Americans would have received 157 billion robotexts.”

Robokiller predicts that in 2023 robocalls will reach 82 billion, a modest 5% increase as government efforts to stop harmful scams will continue to make a dent in overall robocall volume. Robotexts will continue to escalate to 236 billion with a predicted growth rate of 50% as the government and carriers continue to focus their efforts on combating robocalls.

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