Scam text messages are steadily rising, and they cost Americans $86 million last year alone. The texts have gotten so bad that they have caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission.
In 2020, the FCC received about 14,000 complaints about pesky text messages, up 146% over 2019. This year, so far, the commission has received nearly 10,000 complaints. That figure is up 55% percent over the year before, according to RoboKiller.
Some common scams reference COVID-19 in the texts. They included asking for copies of a person’s vaccine card or offering at-home testing kits. Other texts ask for personal information for online account recovery, package delivery scams, or bank and payment app verification.
The FCC’s acting chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, announced Monday that the agency would implement federal rules that deal with the unwanted texts, similar to what is in place for robocalls.
“It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm,” Rosenworcel said in a statement.