Text Scams Cost US Consumers $330 Million In 2022 Alone, Says FTC

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

The FTC’s recent Data Spotlight highlights a growing number of text scams, the amount of damage they’ve caused US consumers, and what type of scams are being run.

“In 2022, they were right to the tune of $330 million in losses to text scams,” the report reads. “That’s more than double the 2021 reported losses and nearly five times what people reported in 2019.”

Text scammers take advantage of how easy it is to mass send texts, and how easily it is for users to simply respond to a text and click a link. They take advantage of human psychology through social engineering scams using various means.

The report outlined several of the major scams used on consumers.

1) Copycat bank fraud investment alerts. Simply put, threat actors pretend to be your bank alerting you to fraud.

“You might get a fake number to call about supposed suspicious activity,” the FTC report said. “Or, they might say to reply “yes or no” to verify a large transaction (that you didn’t make). If you reply, you’ll get a call from the (fake) fraud department.”

2) Bogus little gifts that cost you. Free gift cards, rewards, and prizes will be sent out en masse, but when you click the link and submit your card details, you’ve just given them your credit card.

3) Fake package delivery problems such as phony FedEx or Amazon texts that insist your package has had a problem and that you need to pay a small redelivery fee. Once you pay the fee, they’ve taken your credit card.

4) Phony job offers that phish for your information. People are usually all too happy to give it up too since they pose as valuable or high-paying jobs.

5) Not really from “Amazon” security alerts. These are when scammers will pull the classic “refund” bait and switch by pretending they’ve refunded you too much money after a security alert and demand you give it back in gift cards or crypto.

No matter the method, clicking a suspicious link and entering your credit card information is usually a scam.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."