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Bi-Annual Reports Reveal Americans are on Track to Receive 157 Billion Scam Calls and Texts in 2021, Costing Consumers an Estimated $716 Million
NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- RoboKiller, the app that eliminates 99% of spam calls and text messages, today released findings from its 2021 Mid-Year Phone Scam and Political Message Reports. The reports reveal Americans are on track to receive 71 billion total spam calls in 2021, a 30% projected annual increase. Consumers are due to lose $615 million as a result of these scams, a 40% rise from a year ago. Additionally, Americans are expected to receive 86 billion total spam texts and suffer financial losses of $101 million in 2021. These figures represent estimated year-over-year increases of 55% and 18%, respectively.
Meanwhile, robocalling and texting has remained a viable political messaging tactic in 2021, even in the absence of presidential and midterm elections. RoboKiller's Political Message Insights, the world's first political robocall, and text trend monitoring system, found Americans received an estimated 427 million political robocalls and 5.4 billion political texts thus far in 2021. Although this year's totals are likely to fall short of 2020's pace, they represent a growing reliance on these mediums among political campaigns seeking to reach and sway voters.
Call & Text Scams: Key Findings & Takeaways
Americans are projected to receive a staggering 157 billion combined spam calls and texts in 2021. According to year-to-date phone scam trends reported to the FTC, these unwanted messages will cost consumers an estimated $716 million.
Spam calls utilizing spoofed caller IDs represent approximately 37% of all spam call traffic thus far in 2021. However, that figure is projected to drop to 30% by year's end, in large part due to the FCC's STIR/SHAKEN anti-spoofing caller ID framework.
Although STIR/SHAKEN will affect scammers' ability to spoof calls, that doesn't mean consumers will receive less spam this year. As scammers adapt, RoboKiller estimates that total spam texts will rise by 55% in 2021.
In 2020, RoboKiller identified increased shares of bank and IRS scam calls as a result of a contracting job market and COVID-19's economic impact. In 2021, scams appear more catered to travel, pandemic relief programs, and especially vehicle warranty promotions.
Car warranty scams are projected to become the largest phone scam ever recorded by RoboKiller. This robocall category is twice the size of the next leading scam and has surpassed 2020's leader, social security and IRS scams.
Bank verification and account login scams are projected to increase by 50% in 2021. Meanwhile, scammers are forecasted to heavily rely on delivery text scam tactics, particularly around the holidays.
Read the full bi-annual phone scam report here.
Political Robocall & Texting: Key Findings & Takeaways
Political campaigns relied heavily on robocalls and texts to voters in 2020. From June through December 2020, Americans received more than 520 million political robocalls, or 75 million per month. Between June and November, they received approximately 14.9 billion political text messages.
Robocalls and texts are unlikely to be as abundant in a non-election year, but they remain plentiful: 427 million calls and 5.4 billion texts have been placed thus far in 2021. Republicans are more reliant on robocalls (247 million vs 150 million) and text messages (3.7 billion to 1.7 billion) than Democrats so far this year.
Peer-to-peer texting (when a volunteer sends a text rather than an autodialer) played a significant role in 2020's record-setting political text levels. At its peak in October, peer-to-peer texting accounted for 40% of all messages sent, before dipping to 25% after the election in December.
Shortcodes (5 or 6 digit phone numbers campaigns use to send and receive texts at scale) are projected to make up 81% of Republican and 76% of Democratic text totals in 2021.
Read the full bi-annual political message report here.
2021 KEY PHONE SCAM TRENDS
Projected Top Five Most Spammed States in 2021:
Total Estimated Spam
Total Estimated Spam
Top Phone Scams Nationwide:
Robocallers tend to target densely populated cities and states, and 2021 is no exception. Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, and New York—the projected five most spammed states this year—all place among the seven most populous in the nation.
2021 KEY POLITICAL MESSAGE TRENDS
Peer-to-peer texting is a way for political operatives to reach voters who may not have consented to receiving messages. This communication method is becoming a sizable part of political campaigns, as it accounts for about 1 in 5 political texts sent thus far in 2021.
How To Stop Phone Scams
At RoboKiller, it's our mission to create a world without spam. In addition to downloading the RoboKiller app, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Additionally, any brand interested in protecting against scams perpetrated under their name can contact our enterprise services team for more information.
RoboKiller's Data Insights
RoboKiller's robocall and spam text insights are powered by a global database of millions of known phone scams and audio fingerprints. Data are estimated by monitoring observed robocall and spam text trends for Americans who have trusted RoboKiller to stop their spam calls. For a comprehensive analysis of robocall trends in specific locations, details about particular phone scams, or any other related custom inquiries, please contact RoboKiller's robocall insights team here or at email@example.com.
With more than 12 million downloads and $300 million in losses prevented, RoboKiller is the leading independent spam call and text blocker in the United States. RoboKiller has been named a leader in technical and mobile achievement by the Webby Awards, Media Excellence, Best in Biz, and more. RoboKiller was also named the most effective solution to robocalls by the FTC. RoboKiller is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play. To learn more, visit www.robokiller.com.
RoboKiller, a Teltech brand, is a division of Mosaic Group, an IAC Company (NASDAQ: IAC).
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