The Robokiller Report

2022 Mid-Year
Phone Scam Insights

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Key takeaways
Robokiller and Textkiller are on the front lines of the phone spam fight, keeping Americans safe from potentially dangerous spam calls and text messages. Here’s what we observed in the first half of 2022.
Robotexts are (increasingly) out of control
  • Americans have received more than 66 billion robotexts already in 2022
  • Inside: What’s behind the uptick?
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Scammers are finding ways around new spam call regulations
  • The FCC continues to crack down on scammers and unveiled new restrictions to combat robocalls
  • Inside: What lies ahead?
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It's 2022, and spam calls still exist
  • Spam calls are on pace to reach the highest levels on record
  • Inside: Top scams to watch out for
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Take back control over your phone with Textkiller and Robokiller
  • Robokiller and Textkiller have prevented over $400 million in consumer losses since 2017
  • Inside: How to stay safe from phone spam
Read more
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The state of the robotext

Estimated robotexts,
January - June 2022
Projected increase in robotexts, 2022
Projected financial losses to robotexts, 2022
Projected robotexts, 2022
Estimated losses to robotexts, January - June 2022
Projected increase in losses to robotexts, 2022

*According to TextKiller, many scams go unreported to the FTC.

Robotexts are (increasingly) out of control

If 2021 was the year of the robotext, we’ll need a new moniker for 2022 — a year well on its way to SMS infamy. At this rate, records won’t just break, they’ll shatter.

TextKiller, a sister app to Robokiller that eliminates 99% of robotexts, projects spam texts will exceed 147 billion by year’s end, a 68% spike from 2021’s nearly 88 billion.

What’s behind the increase?

What’s to blame for the avalanche of robotexts and scammers’ general shift to this medium?

For one, STIR/SHAKEN was unveiled in June 2021 in an effort by the FCC to combat spoofed robocalls. This caused scammers to redirect their focus and zero in on a tactic that faces fewer roadblocks and has a better engagement rate — 98%, to be exact.

For another, Americans have become digital-first communicators because it’s easy to chat via email and text. So, scammers have followed suit — and it’s working.

Delivery, travel, and bank scams soar

Scammers are known to follow consumer behavior trends so they can reach people more easily. That’s why travel scams usually increase during the summer months. In June 2022, for example, travel scams reached 150 million texts, as Americans took time off to vacation. In contrast, delivery scams tend to soar during the holidays when everyone is shopping. Last year delivery scams jumped 28% from November to December 2021.

Familiar states topped the most spam-texted list

2022 Robotexts By State

It’s no surprise that scammers target states with densely populated cities in an effort to reach as many people as possible. California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Georgia are the five states that received the most robotexts in the first half of 2022.

Less populous states were among the most-spammed per capita

Just because you live in a state with fewer people doesn’t mean spam isn’t your problem. Anything but. In fact, Idaho and South Dakota lead the way in robotexts per person so far in 2022.

2022 Robotexts By State Per Capita

Gone smishing

We all know phishing, but did you know that smishing is a related type of scam that uses text messages to deceive recipients? Scammers send out texts about things like package deliveries in hopes you’ll click the link in the message — these links may contain malware or encourage you to divulge personal information. So, be careful not to click any suspicious links.

Big picture, robotexts are costly

In an SMS-centric world, scammers have weaponized the robotext to defraud Americans, and it’s paying dividends. From January - June 2022, TextKiller estimates Americans lost approximately $9.7 billion to scam text messages.

TextKiller predicts that, by the end of 2022, Americans could very well have lost more than $28 billion to text message scams — a 179% increase from 2021.

Those numbers are staggering, but there is a solution: TextKiller eliminates 99% of robotexts and is designed to keep you and your loved ones safe from the harm these messages cause. To date, TextKiller has prevented $27 million in losses to fraud. By downloading TextKiller, you’re protecting yourself from scams that could have financial repercussions and, at the same time, ensuring you get only the texts you want.

For added protection against both robotexts and robocalls, be sure to download RoboKiller for iOS  or Android today.

TextKiller is fighting back

TextKiller is the leading independent spam text blocker. TextKiller’s impact in the fight against robotexts includes:

Texts blocked
$27 Million
Losses prevented to robotexts
Texts analyzed
Effective blocking

The state of the spam call

Estimated spam calls,
January - June 2022
Projected increase in spam calls, 2022
Projected financial losses to spam calls, 2022
Projected spam calls, 2022
Estimated losses to spam calls, January - June 2022
Projected increase in losses to spam calls, 2022

*According to RoboKiller, many scams go unreported to the FTC.

Scammers are finding ways around new spam call regulations

The FCC and other governing bodies continue to tighten their robocall restrictions both within and outside the U.S. By June 30, 2022, carriers large and small were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN or an equivalent Robocall Mitigation Plan (RMP) to combat spam calls that utilize caller ID spoofing.

RoboKiller believes that, with more widespread FCC compliance among networks, Americans should expect to see fewer spoofed spam calls over time. But they won’t disappear altogether.

Even so, it’s not realistic to expect robocalls to become a thing of the past. This is evident in the fact that spam calls (spoofed or not) are still increasing. In fact, they’re projected to increase 19% in 2022.

Scammers are quick to adapt, and it’s likely they will find workarounds to the STIR/SHAKEN framework and other mandates (for example, by buying “good” phone numbers in bulk with hopes of increasing their answer rate).

Read more about FCC’s preventative measures and their impact on voice service providers and other businesses in RoboKiller Enterprise’s Mid-Year Report.

It’s 2022, and spam calls still exist

Americans are sick of spam calls. From January - June 2022, they received an estimated 40 billion spam calls and are on track to receive 86 billion by year’s end.

Americans are feeling the financial impact

Already in 2022, Americans have lost an estimated $30 billion to spam call fraud, which is the amount they lost in 2021 collectively.

Based on RoboKiller’s projections, Americans are on pace to lose $59 billion to robocall scams in 2022. Catastrophic losses like these not only have a significant financial impact, but also an emotional impact on the victims. Older adults are among the most often victimized by scammers, and these scams have far-ranging health outcomes ranging from depression to disrupted sleep.

With the world slowly returning to normal, scammers will look to target Americans with relevant scams related to travel, student loans (which have been on forbearance since the beginning of the pandemic), and other scams related to health insurance, and of course, vehicle warranty offers.

Spam calls are everywhere, and Americans are feeling the effects

Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, and Georgia were among the most frequently spam-called states, which is no surprise as they are among the most densely populated.

2022 Most Robocalled States

Population isn’t so much a factor on a per capita basis, however

Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and South Carolina round out the top five states in terms of spam calls per person. This reinforces the fact that, regardless of where you call home, scammers will likely find a way to reach you.

Election season never ends

Did you know it’s not just presidential elections that drive political texts and calls? We’ve observed that, even in an off-year, these messages go out frequently. Although many political calls and texts don’t qualify as spam, you may not want them anyway. Here are some tips to unsubscribe from political messages.

Pesky vehicle warranty calls are relentless

RoboKiller predicts that vehicle warranty spam calls will hold their place as the top spam call in 2022. Since RoboKiller began monitoring spam calls in 2017, vehicle warranty calls have surged. They’re one of the leading consumer complaints to the FCC.

What’s being done to curb vehicle warranty calls?

Recently, the FCC announced it’s taking action against these calls by asking carriers to stop letting these calls through their network. While this is a great start, scammers will no doubt find a way around it.

Other scams related to health insurance, student loans, banking, and the IRS will be another avenue of opportunity for scammers, as the uncertainty of a potential recession looms. Americans should stay diligent when it comes to answering unknown calls or text messages from numbers not in their contacts.

Be sure to take these steps to stay safe from phone scams, and download RoboKiller for iOS or Android today. For additional robotext protection, download TextKiller for iPhone.

Robokiller is fighting back

Powered by AI, RoboKiller empowers you to live life spam-call-free™ with 99% effective spam call identification and blocking. Our impact in the fight against spam includes:

Calls blocked
Losses prevented
Calls processed
Effective blocking

Be sure to take these steps to stay safe from phone scams and download RoboKiller for iOS or Android today.

Meet Robokiller and Textkiller

Take back control over your phone with Textkiller and Robokiller

Everyone hates spam. RoboKiller and TextKiller are creating a world without it.

We’re all better off without car warranty calls, delivery-related spam texts, and annoying telemarketer sales pitch. And at the end of the day, we’re all safer without the risk of a clever scammer cutting into our savings.

RoboKiller and TextKiller’s award-winning AI-powered technology stops 99% of unwanted spam calls and text messages so that everyone can live their life spam-call-free ™.

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