Has your phone been buzzing a lot more often than usual? And when you go to check, it's not your group chat or a hilarious meme? We’ll take a wild guess: They’re spam text messages. Because an overload of spam calls wasn’t enough…their annoying little sister is following in their footsteps. And they’re probably not going away anytime soon. The good news? You can try to steer clear of them. Scroll down to find out how. And listen to our “Skimm This” episode below — where we’ve got more on this topic.
How common are spam text messages?
According to data from Robokiller (which blocks spam calls and texts), the average American got around 42 spam texts in March 2022. That comes out to about 10 a week.
Spam texts follow the typical ‘spam playbook.’ They’ll send links phishing for personal info that they’ll use to scam you. Some texts look like shipping confirmations. Others can look like late notices for bills. And then there are those that are way less subtle — promoting weird weight-loss programs or get-rich-quick schemes.
Scammers have apparently gone all-in on text messages because they have high open rates. And it's just as easy — if not easier — to blast out texts than robocalls.
In other not-so-good news, basically all forms of spam are on the rise. People got more spam calls in March 2022 than they did in the previous six months, according to YouMail’s Robocall Index. Another report from the Washington Post found that overall spam email frequency went up 30% from 2020 to 2021.
Spam texts, emails, and calls aren’t just annoying. They also can be dangerous. The FTC found that Americans lost over $131 million to text fraud schemes last year. So knowing how to spot and avoid them can help you and your wallet.
Can you tell me how to stop getting spam texts?
We’ve got a few tips…
Be more careful about giving out your phone number. Because the 10% discount on an app or at the cash register might not be worth a lifetime of unwanted texts.
Change your phone settings. You can filter out messages from unknown senders. Or you can go all in and block every number that sends you a spam text.
Ignore ‘em. Above all else, don’t respond to any of the messages or click links scammers may send. You don’t want to give them a reason to think your number is active.
Want more info? The FTC has more details on how to spot and report spam text messages here.
We all know how frustrating spam texts can be. But they're a good reminder to stay smart about sharing personal info. Following the steps above can help filter out these messages from your life. And on the bright side, they could be the excuse we all need to stop checking our phones 24/7.
PS: For more on this topic, check out our “Skimm This” episode.
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