2 min read

FCC Alerts Americans to Growing Robotext Scams

Filip TRUȚĂ

August 01, 2022

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
FCC Alerts Americans to Growing Robotext Scams

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US communications regulator, has issued a warning drawing attention to an increasing number of robotext scams.

“Robotext scams are on the rise and may even be passing robocalls as a tool for con artists,” the FCC warns.

Complaints about unwanted text messages have risen steadily in recent years, from approximately 5,700 in 2019 to 14,000 in 2020, 15,300 in 2021 and 8,500 through June 30, 2022. In other words, 2022 is well on track to reach or even surpass 17,000 complaints.

But that’s only the number of scams spotted and reported by wary consumers. In reality, the number of SMS scams making the rounds is orders of magnitude higher.

The watchdog was prompted to issue yet another warning this year as it registered substantial increases in consumer complaints, new reports by non-government robocall and robotext blocking services, and anecdotal and news reporting.

Robotexters use fear and anxiety to get you to interact, with messages pushing 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,” the agency explains. “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.”

Consumers are urged to refrain from interacting with these types of unsolicited communications. And if they have reason to believe a text might be legitimate, citizens should independently look up contact information and reach out directly to the company, government agency or law enforcement office.

The PDF version of the FCC’s flash alert includes a comprehensive list of things to look out for to avoid smishing tricks.

In a separate alert on its .gov website, the communications watchdog also warns that texts can be spoofed to mask the originating number and make it appear that the text is coming from a number you’re more likely to trust.

“Spoofers may opt for a local number, or impersonate a government agency, such as the IRS, or a company you’re familiar with. Scammers use these methods to get you to respond to a text,” according to the notice.

Many of the texts reported this year are said to be direct ploys to steal valuable personal or financial information, while some recipients have been pressured to log in to a spoofed version of their bank’s website to verify a purchase or unlock a credit card that was frozen – only to have their credentials and credit card info stolen by the scammers.

And the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is joining forces with the FCC to warn citizens about a new approach: ”wrong number” text scams.

SMS phishing, or smishing, is leveraged not just by fraudsters and spammers but also by organized cybercrime rings.

In May, Bitdefender reported that FluBot operators were using some of these exact smishing techniques in an intense push to sneak data-stealing malware onto people’s phones.

Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android protects customers against smishing attacks. And with Identity Theft Protection, you can keep your money and identity safe.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

July 27, 2022

2 min read
Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

July 07, 2022

5 min read
Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

June 22, 2022

1 min read
Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

May 24, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

UK Drinking Water Supplier Hit with Clop Ransomware UK Drinking Water Supplier Hit with Clop Ransomware
Filip TRUȚĂ

August 17, 2022

2 min read
RubyGems Enforces Mandatory Multi-Factor Authentication for Popular Projects RubyGems Enforces Mandatory Multi-Factor Authentication for Popular Projects
Vlad CONSTANTINESCU

August 17, 2022

1 min read
Google Fined AUD 60 Million over Misleading Data Collection Claims Google Fined AUD 60 Million over Misleading Data Collection Claims
Filip TRUȚĂ

August 16, 2022

2 min read