Robotexts skyrocketing as experts say scammers exploiting robocall law

FCC releases alert on signs to spot the scams
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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InvestigateTV - One year after a federal law was put in place a new report by the U.S. Public Interest Group (U.S. PIRG) shows a 47% drop in scam robocalls; but the number of robotexts is soaring.

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act requires all phone companies to install robocall detection technology, including filters and messages warning consumers of likely spam. It does not provide the same protection against robotexts.

Teresa Murray is a consumer watchdog and authored the U.S. PIRG report “Ringing in our Fears”. She found con artists and identity thieves are taking advantage of loopholes in the law.

“We’ve seen an increase in robotexts now that robocalls are going down,” Cohen said. “Robotexts were not covered by the law, so a lot of the bad guys were gravitating to the robot text to try and scam us.”

The numbers have skyrocketed. According to RoboKiller, a spam call and text blocker app, robotexts have increased twelvefold in the past year.

Guilia Porter, the Vice President of RoboKiller, said the FCC is focused on stopping spam texts.

In the meantime, Porter suggested consumers stay diligent. She told users to research a suspicious text or call before responding. She also said you can check for fraud alerts on company websites of businesses you frequent.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a robotext alert this July and included common signs of a scam. They are:

  • Misspellings
  • 10-digit or longer phone numbers
  • Mysterious or suspicious links

The FCC has also proposed legislation that would require mobile wireless providers to block illegal text messages.