ALERT: SCAM ROBOTEXTS ARE RISING THREAT
Text Message Scammers Seek Money, Information, and Engagement
The FCC’s Robocall Response Team is alerting consumers to the rising threat of robotexts. Substantial increases in consumer complaints to the FCC, reports by non-government robocall and robotext blocking services, and anecdotal and news reporting make it clear that text messages are increasingly being used by scammers to target American consumers.
What Are Robotext Scams:
Scam text message senders want you to engage with them. Like robocallers, a robotexter may use fear and anxiety to get you to interact. Texts may include false-but-believable claims about unpaid bills, package delivery snafus, bank account problems, or law enforcement actions against you. They may provide confusing information – as if they were texting someone else –, incomplete information, or utilize other techniques to spur your curiosity and engagement.
Some scammers may be after your money, but others may simply be trying to collect personal information or confirm that a number is active for use in future scams. Do not respond or click on any links in the message. If you think a text might be legitimate, you should independently look up contact information and reach out directly to the company, government agency, or law enforcement.
How Big a Problem Is This:
The FCC tracks consumer complaints – rather than call or text volume – and complaints about unwanted text messages have risen steadily in recent years from approximately 5,700 in 2019, 14,000 in 2020, 15,300 in 2021, to 8,500 through June 30, 2022. In addition, some independent reports estimate billions of robotexts each month – for example, RoboKiller estimates consumers received over 12 billion robotexts in June.
What to Look Out For:
Scam text message – also known as “smishing” – sometimes utilize:
How to Protect Yourself:
What the FCC Is Doing:
Consumer Help Guides:
FCC Robocall Response Team – Under Chairwoman Rosenworcel, the Robocall Response Team was created to serve as an FCC staff working group that pulls together expertise from across the agency to leverage the talents of enforcers, attorneys, policy makers, engineers, economists, and outreach experts to combat the unyielding menace of illegal spoofed, scam, robocalls.
Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 / ASL: (844) 432-2275 / Twitter: @FCC / www.fcc.gov
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).