This week’s OSIN report discusses about Text Scams, as reported to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network in 2022
Text scams have become increasingly prevalent, with scammers capitalizing on the affordability and convenience of texting. In 2022, these scams resulted in losses of approximately $330 million, as reported to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network. The median reported loss was $1,000, which is more than double the losses reported in 2021 and nearly five times the amount reported in 2019. Interestingly, reports of text scams surged during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic and have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. The success of text scams lies in scammers exploiting the quick nature of text communication, hoping that recipients won’t take the time to analyze the messages critically. These scams often make enticing promises, such as gifts, packages, or job opportunities, or they instil panic by claiming unauthorized account access. However, all these claims are lies crafted to deceive individuals and obtain their money or personal information. While there is a wide range of text scams, the top five types accounted for over 40% of the randomly sampled text frauds reported in 2022. What these scams have in common is that they frequently impersonate well-known businesses, leveraging their reputation to gain trust and deceive unsuspecting victims.