June 16, 2024

Cybercrime is a growing headache for society and families worldwide. Sadly, advancements in the internet have handed more power to bad elements, enabling them to steal from internet users. As technology improves, fraudsters craft new strategies for their criminal activities.

So, it is no longer easy for victims to escape the grip of these dark actors. Spam SMS is one of the vehicles most fraudsters rely on. These messages are rising in number and usage. Sadly, it has resulted in several people losing money to fraud. 39.3% of spam recipients in 2021 were female, while 59.4% were male. The first half of 2023 saw Americans receive 78 billion automated spam texts alone.

Are you looking for a way to avoid spam messages? Do you want to know how much damage they have caused? This article will reveal eye-opening spam text statistics and figures. Also, you’ll find a technique below that could effectively control these spam SMS. Keep reading.

Key Spam Text Statistics

Key Spam Text Statistics

  1. Deliveries sector records the most victims from spam texts.
  2. Spam text jumped to 58% in 2022.
  3. 1 in 3 Americans has received a spam text.
  4. The spam text rate dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. California tops the chart in America for the most scammy texts.
  6. 59.4% of victims ever recorded were male.
  7. Interestingly, young people are more likely to fall victim to bad players using scam texts.
  8. China tops the chart among the regions with severe incidents of these messages.
  9. 16% of people have patronized a scammer’s text to purchase service.
  10. An estimated 1 million spam texts are sent every minute globally.
  11. An estimated 180 billion malicious texts will be sent by the end of 2023.

What is Spam Text?

What is Spam Text

Spam Text is simply an SMS message that appears legitimate but has nefarious intentions. Users receive this message without soliciting or asking for it. Notably, it could convey different things, but the sender is usually after personal and sensitive data.

Fraudsters often employ various tactics to collect these details from a user. These tactics include clicking on a link to receive a reward, which is quite popular. Alternatively, they could approach the victim from a banking issue angle, claiming a problem exists. In such cases, they often prompt users to contact them using an attached link. After clicking this link, the user can fill in personal details to access the desired information.

This setup is a scam; the story is just a hook or clickbait to attract the user. Unfortunately, some unsuspecting users supply these details, exposing themselves to great risks. Armed with these personal details, the scammers can access the victim’s account and steal their money or identity. Also, they could blackmail the victims or damage their reputations. What started quite harmlessly could lead to serious problems and drive victims into depression or suicide. Spam texts often originate from an email address and do not provide a reply path to users.

Top Spam Text Statistics in 2023

Stats in 2023

1. Spam Texts Moved up by 58% in 2022.

These texts continue to be a pain since the creation of mobile devices. The average American resident received 16.9 spam SMS within April 2021. A survey in April of the next year revealed that these residents got 41 texts

2. One Out of Three Americans has Fallen Prey to Scam Texts.

1 out of every 3 resident in the country has communicated with fraudsters through spam texts. Victims are often devastated after such losses, feeling that they should have spotted it earlier. However, statistics reveal it is quite a common occurrence, as one target out of every three has fallen victim to these fraudsters in America. Also, 65% of these victims do not realize they were scammed until later. So, the severity of the attack depends on what information the scammers gain access to.

3. The COVID-19 Pandemic Forced a Decline in Spam Calls.

The global pandemic took the world by storm, altering regular modes of work and interaction. So, remote work took center stage, with people applying more caution while communicating with each other and applying personal space restrictions. Also, as the world adopted the pandemic’s demand on society, scammers altered their mode of operation.

Before the pandemic, scam calls were quite popular and common among fraudsters. However, by mid-2020, the spam call rate had declined by 50% and has not risen since. Notably, 2020 marked the rise of spam texts to exceed spam calls. Since 2020, criminals preferred text messages, placing them at a higher level than other tools. So, in 2022, around 87 billion malicious texts were recorded, showing a scary increase.

4. California is the Area Most Affected by Spam Texts in the United States.

Did you know scammers always improve their tricks with different tactics? So many times, these bad actors focus on places where they had more success in the past. In the US, California tops the scam text hit list. A July 2022 survey disclosed that about 945 million malicious texts were sent there. Texas follows closely with 926M menacing messages documented. Georgia takes third spot with nearly 800M in the same period. 

5. Deliveries are The Top Category Used by Text Spammers.

Spam texts vary in format based on the fraudster’s preference and target victims. However, the goal is to convince a victim to provide sensitive information quickly. Unfortunately, deliveries are one of the most popular methods of these texts. This is because most people order products and services. So, sometimes, the message claims that an order has an issue, thereby requesting sensitive details.

It is also important to know that these messages rose suddenly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown period was the ideal opportunity for fraudsters since the movement of people and goods was limited. Also, in 2021, 6.5% of spam texts recorded were based on Covid-related content. So, deliveries are the most preferred category used by cybercriminals. 

6. 59.4% of Text Spam Victims Were Male.

Men are often more targeted in text scams than women, probably because they dominate the work environment. A 2021 survey revealed that 59.4% of these texts were sent to males. Also, it showed that 38.3% were shipped to females. Meanwhile, the spam text rate differs based on age bracket. So, women between 18 and 34 are often soft targets. On the other hand, men between 35 and 44 usually fall victim to text scams. This does not mean that different age ranges do not experience such issues. On the contrary! They encounter fewer issues.

7. Younger People are Easy Prey for Text Scams.

The common assumption is that older people are more prone to be victims of fraud. This belief stems from the fact that they might be easily manipulated or are more generous. However, this assumption is a misconception, as young people who are more tech-savvy are more likely to fall for scams. The fact that younger people rely on more digital concepts and technologies makes them more vulnerable. Older generations have a harder time trusting these technologies than younger people, who might not thoroughly question the process.

Statistics reveal that people aged between 20-29 are more likely to lose money 41% of the time. In comparison, those above 80 only lost money to fraud in 17% of the total cases. However, it does not negate that older people are more generous. Statistics reveal that young people, on average, lose $500 to text scams. On the other hand, older people are more likely to forfeit $1,500 to a single text scam. Generally, the amount lost to these text scams is increasing significantly. In 2020, the average loss was $351; however, this average will rise to $502 by 2021. These figures confirm the losses to scammers are increasing over the years. 

8. 16% of Individuals Have Purchased Something From a Spam Texter.

Text scams are increasing worldwide, and anyone can fall victim to these fraudsters. Sadly, scammers constantly refine their texts and methods to bait their victims. This makes it possible for previous victims to slip into these scams again, even if they have been scammed. For instance, statistics reveal that the same scammer has previously targeted victims targeted by scammers. An estimated 16% of individuals scammed previously are often targeted by the same scammer. Despite repeated attempts to curb scam messages, it seems impossible to prevent these scams from occurring.

9. China Struggles With the Biggest Spamming Problem in the World.

The United States struggles with text scams, with many individuals falling victim. However, even the United States is surpassed by China. Scams are increasing fast there. So, it is difficult to get the actual number of scam texts sent out and the number of victims. The country ranks number one among nations that struggle to beat the malicious text menace with incredible numbers. Remarkably, on February 6, 2023, it noted over 17,500 spam cases. Meanwhile, the US faced 9,000 similar cases in the same timeframe.

10. Over One Million Spam Texts are Sent Every Minute.

Cybercriminals use a numbers game. They send multiple messages, hoping to catch a few victims out of hundreds. Also, modern tools like chatbots make it easy for messages to be sent out in shorter periods. So, fraudsters rely on these tools. A survey in November 2022 revealed that over 1.57 billion spam texts were sent daily. This is the scary reality facing law enforcement agents.

11. Spam Texts Will Likely Exceed 180 Billion in 2023.

Malicious messages are a pain to most nations and users worldwide, especially former victims. Experts estimate that robot-created texts will likely rise above 180 billion in 2023, growing at 10% annually. Also, scammers will likely realize over $15 billion 2023 through text spam. This confirms how deeply this menace has eaten into society.

How to Quickly Identify a Spam Text

How to Quickly Identify a Spam Text

Learning to decode and identify ill-intention texts quickly is vital to escape fraudsters’ tricks. Also, these methods will help a user protect themselves and their details. Some common traits of these texts are listed below:

1. Urgency

Scammers execute their plans in the shortest possible time to prevent their victims from thinking rationally. So, spam texts and all types of scams seek to provoke a reaction from the target so they can provide the required information. Note that a genuine business rarely needs an instant response from a receiver. So, any text that urges the recipient to respond urgently with a deadline attached is likely a spam message.

2. Strange Timing

Since most of these messages are sent using software, they can be transmitted at odd hours or night. However, spammers often prefer to send their messages at night when the network is quieter. Also, they could target the morning hours to create stress and force a rash decision to benefit them. So, whenever a text comes in, it is quite helpful to look at when it was sent. Also, businesses requiring urgent action seldom send messages late at night. If an individual receives such suspicious messages, proceeding cautiously is best.

It helps to be wary of opening links from untrusted sources as they may instantly compromise your device accessing sensitive data. Even if the link is from a trusted source, proceed with caution. But, if the link originates from an unknown source, it is probably a scam. Also, look closely at the link. It is likely a scam link if it is short or does not look like a normal URL. So, for your safety, avoid clicking links embedded in texts.

4. Phone Number With Abnormal Length 

Also, closely examining the phone number that sent the message will reveal more vital details. Spammers do not want their targets to know where their text messages originated. So, the number will most likely be fake and one digit longer than usual in most cases. Also, it may have an unusual dial code that is uncommon with your local area code. Therefore, if the details call for concern, it is best to assume that it is spam text. The next line of action is to block it and report it to the network provider. Using a mobile device is easy and might limit similar activities from the same scammer.

How to Protect Yourself From Spam Texts

How to Protect Yourself

The best way to protect yourself is to study and understand how these scammers operate. The more you learn about these spam messages, the easier it will be to overcome these scams. Here are some steps that could be quite helpful:

1. Register a Profile With Do Not Call

Do-not-call services help to prevent or reduce the number of spam calls a number receives. Also, adding your number to a Do-Not-Call list will greatly limit the spam texts users receive. So, your number will be blocked from intrusive calls within reasonable limits, making it difficult for scammers to find it or send a message. However, this list will not create a user immune to receiving spam texts or calls but could block a significant number.

2. Block Numbers to Safeguard Your Phone

Utilize the blocking option on your phone to reduce the rate of spam messages. However, you cannot block a number until you have received a text message. If you obtain an unsolicited text message, refer to the phone settings and click the block option. Blocking a number will list it under spam. So, the phone will stop all messages and calls from the recorded number, and you won’t even hear the phone ring. Also, a user can block all unidentified numbers calling their phone directly from the phone settings.

3. Consider How Urgent the Message Is

Consider the message before reacting or responding to a message, especially from an unknown sender. Note that spam messages create a sense of urgency as the scammer hopes for a quick reaction from the recipient without giving it thought. Often, they attach a time limit to a special offer or claim something bad could happen if the victim does not react quickly. For instance, they could insinuate that your bank account could be compromised if you do not provide details. Also, they will claim that these details must be delivered in a few minutes to prevent loss of funds or some other negative event. Therefore, it is important to proceed cautiously and avoid a knee-jerk reaction. Anyone trying to rush you into making a quick decision is probably a scammer.

4. Weigh Your Options Carefully Before Responding

The most effective way of outsmarting these scammers is to pause and consider the message received. If the message is unexpected or pitches an offer that is too good to be true, these are often the hallmarks of a scam. Sometimes, a slight pause for consideration could spare you the pain of falling victim to a scam. Carefully consider the offer and get clarity if it is genuine or not. Take your time. Don’t be in a hurry to comply with what you know little or nothing about. Also, remember, no matter how juicy an offer looks, there is always a catch. It is probably a scam if you cannot find the attached terms and conditions.

Be wary of text messages or emails with links unless you are certain of their source. Preferably, type the address into the internet and then confirm the information. However, do not copy and paste the link into your browser. For instance, if the message is related to your bank, do not click on the link. Rather, access your bank account directly from your app or the internet and confirm if there is an issue. Also, the same rule applies to delivery services; rather than clicking on the link, type the delivery service to research it on the internet. Additionally, look up the company online to confirm whether it is genuine and if such a message exists.

6. Use a Spam-blocking App

Thankfully, technology has also provided a measure to reduce the exposure to spam messages and calls. You can use a spam-blocking app like Verizon’s Call Filter or T-Mobile’s Scam Shield. Also, clicking on Spam Protection from the app settings menu on your mobile device could do the trick. There are also premium spam blocking apps such as SMS Spam Stopper 9 $2.99) and Truecaller, which has free and paid options. Following the precautions listed above will safeguard users from spam messages and fraudsters.

Conclusion 

The numbers speak for themselves – scam texts and emails are flooding more inboxes by the day, their claims growing craftier and more convincing to the undiscerning eye. Behind the data lies a disconcerting reality about our fast-paced, tech-driven times.

Armed with sophisticated tools like AI, fraudsters now mimic corporations and contacts with frightening authenticity. Meanwhile, in our hurry to push through overflowing inboxes, it becomes dangerously easy to skim right past the red flags. That simmering sense of urgency they instill leaves hardly any room for questioning as our thumbs tap and data transfers before we can blink.

But whether hastily clicking or cautiously considering, preventative measures bear repeating – never trust unsolicited links or attachments, no matter how credible the design appears. Verify suspicious claims manually on official sites. Keep device protections and filters updated. And, of course, flag rather than forward any message aiming to scam.

By taking a breath and proactively safeguarding our communication channels, we deny scammers the power to infiltrate and exploit them for their gain. We are responsible for locking down those pathways and keeping data thieves at bay. Together, we can reverse these troubling statistics and secure the channels that connect our lives.

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