Broker Check

Robocalls, Robotexts: Protect Yourself, And Your Money

October 22, 2021

Are you getting more unwanted text messages on your phone than you used to get? That is partly the result of a good thing – robocalls have declined. Robotexts, however, have increased. As robotexts bilked Americans out of $86 billion in 2020, you want to be wary of even the most innocuous messages coming your way.

The number of robocalls fell by 29% from the end of June to the end of August, partly because the Federal Communications Commission required U.S. phone carriers to adopt Secure Telephone Identity Revisited and Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (STIR/SHAKEN) by June 30. This is a blocking technology designed to foil caller ID spoofing (a tactic that 35-40% of robocalls employ). Faced with STIR/SHAKEN, spammers and scam artists have shifted their focus toward texts. If you get what seems to be a robotext, texting back STOP is not the answer. By doing that, you verify your phone number as a target for more robotexts (and your number could end up on a list of targeted numbers that may be sold to other marketers or cybercrooks). Instead, block and report the robotexts to your phone carrier. You can also forward robotexts to the Federal Trade Commission at 7726 (the keypad shorthand for the word SPAM); the FTC will then alert your phone service provider to the robotext.1