Consumers Lost $330 Mn To SMS Scams In US In 2022: Report

New Delhi: Consumers are set to lose a whopping $330 million in the US from SMS scams in 2022, more than double the losses reported in 2021 and nearly five times the losses people reported in 2019, a new report has revealed. . According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), news reports about text scams spiked in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic and have never returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The FTC said, “Scammers use the speed of text communication to their advantage: They hope you won’t slow down and consider what’s in the message.”

“Some messages promise a good thing – a gift, a package, or even a job. Others try to scare you, into thinking someone is into your accounts. These are all lies and your money And there are ways to take personal information.” ,

In screening a randomly selected set of 1,000 deceptive text messages, it was discovered that the majority of fraudulent communications were intended to mimic well-known businesses.

The report says that since 2019, reports about texts impersonating banks have increased almost twenty-fold.

“Wells Fargo Bank Fraud Alert: Did You Attempt Shopping at Walmart for $1,263.89? Answer Yes or No,” reads one of the sample messages.

If the recipient answers yes or no, they will receive a fake phone call from the alleged fraud department of the bank. Last year, the reported average loss for this type of scam was $3,000, and the agency has emphasized that victims of this scam shared sensitive information with the scammers, including their Social Security numbers.

Furthermore, the report mentions that the scammers also promised victims free gifts from well-known retailers or even cell phone companies.

In most reports, recipients were asked to click on a link and pay a shipping fee for a bogus prize that they would never receive.

Other scams include – fake package delivery scams, bogus job offers, and not really from Amazon security alerts.

In addition, the report states that text message open rates are estimated to be as high as 98 percent and response rates as high as 45 percent, compared to email open and response rates of 20 percent and 6 percent.

More than half of consumers text every day, making text messaging more common than any other method of communication, including voice or email.

The year-over-year reported total losses for text fraud are $67 million (2019), $86 million (2020), $131 million (2021), and $330 million (2022).

The top companies identified in the 2022 report regarding bank impersonation text scams were Bank of America (14 percent), Wells Fargo (12 percent), Chase (12 percent) and Citibank (9 percent).

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