What Is a Text Spammer: From Nuisance to Threat
By Janne Smith 7 minutes
A text spammer ensuring to become your worst nightmare is nothing out of the ordinary. According to Robokiller, in 2022, scammers inundated recipients with an astonishing 225.7 billion spam text messages, marking an extraordinary surge of 157% compared to the previous year’s record of 87.8 billion.
Despite text spamming seeming to be long dead and buried, it still widely exists – resulting in a loss of billions of dollars. And it all starts with your information leaking online. That’s where a reliable VPN comes in handy. By leveraging a trusted VPN, like the FastestVPN, you never have to worry about your data coming into the hands of a black hat.
Reeling back to a message spammer, here’s an outline of ways a text spammer can leverage your private information and how you can mitigate the threat of becoming a target of a text message spammer.
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Following that, with the IP covered, you never have to worry about your information leaking out – thanks to the VPN’s unmatched features.
What Is Text Spamming?
A text spammer is an individual who sends numerous text messages to various recipients, with these unsolicited messages classified as spam. These messages can range from advertisements and fake lottery offers to phishing attempts, presenting a spectrum of annoyance to potential danger.
- Operational Independence: A message spammer may work individually or collaborate within organized groups.
- Specialized Tools: A phone spammer frequently employs specialized software for mass messaging, allowing it to reach a broad audience simultaneously.
- Diverse Number Sourcing: Phone numbers for spam messages are acquired from multiple channels, such as data leaks caused by cyberattacks.
- Random Number Generation: Sometimes, a message spammer generates phone numbers randomly for unsolicited messages.
Along with text spamming being a nuisance, a phone spammer aims for monetary loss. According to recently published information from the Federal Trade Commission, consumers documented losses exceeding $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, marking a surge of over 70 percent compared to the preceding year.
Is It Illegal to Spam Text?
According to TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), spam texting has been declared illegal since 2004. Spam calls and texts are irrelevant, and generally, a phone spammer aims to steal your private information only – leading to a significant monetary loss.
Here’s what makes spam texting illegal:
- Reaching out to individuals for marketing reasons without obtaining their permission
- Employing autodialers to reach individuals without obtaining their consent
- Deploying artificial or prerecorded voice messages without securing consent
Exceptions to these regulations exist for:
- Educational Healthcare
That, too, under certain conditions. Nevertheless, businesses across various sectors must adhere to these rules or risk substantial fines when engaged in marketing activities.
How Do Spam Texts Work?
Text message spammers have a clear objective: to extract valuable information, such as your Social Security number or credit card details. Truecaller mentions that approximately 68.4 million Americans, constituting 26% of the population, indicate financial losses due to phone scams, marking an increase from the 59.4 million (23%) reported in 2021.
Generally, text scammers use smishing, short for SMS phishing, to achieve this malicious goal.
Understanding Smishing: A Deceptive Social Engineering Scam
Smishing is a type of social engineering scam where a phone spammer leverages SMS messages to impersonate various entities, including:
- Reputable companies
- Your acquaintances
For a phone spammer, the aim is to build trust and trap individuals into providing sensitive personal data.
In most cases, smishing relies on including malicious links within the messages. These links redirect victims to counterfeit and unsafe websites.
Individuals who succumb to these messages may willingly provide their personal information under the false belief that they are interacting with a legitimate service, unknowingly handing their data over to scammers.
Quantity Over Quality
A message spammer prioritizes quantity over quality in their messaging approach. While their attempts are often discernible to those familiar with such scams, seniors and individuals less acquainted with tech-related fraud may be more susceptible to falling victim.
Similarities with Phishing
Much like phishing is prevalent in spam emails, smishing operates within the realm of spam SMS messages. Both are essentially the same type of scam, emphasizing the need to safeguard against both threats.
Can You Get Scammed by Opening a Text Message?
No, you don’t get spammed immediately when you open a text message. Delving into the basics, text scammers aim for one thing: you land on a page or give them your information.
Illustrating that, a text spammer always texts you with a link or some exciting deal that asks for sensitive information, like banking details. The moment you click on a link and install some malware instead, that’s the real threat. In the other scenario, you might open a malicious link and provide the details it asks for.
Text or call spamming goes beyond texts only. To understand that better, the following section covers ways to recognize a message spammer.
Ways to Recognize a Spam Text
Here are the top 5 ways to recognize a phone spammer:
1. Cautionary Language and Urgency Tactics
Stay vigilant for messages that employ urgent or threatening language. Scammers often exploit emotions, creating a sense of urgency or fear to manipulate recipients. For instance, they may pressure you to make payments swiftly, threatening to disrupt services if you fail to comply.
2. Grammatical Errors and Misspellings
Be wary of messages containing grammatical errors and misspellings, as a phone spammer frequently disregards linguistic accuracy. Many resort to automatic translators, resulting in texts needing to be corrected. Recognizing these errors can help you identify potential scam attempts.
3. Steer Clear of Suspicious Links
Exercise caution with messages containing links, especially if they seem dubious. Scam texts often lead to malicious websites or fake payment gateways. Avoid clicking links that could compromise your security or lead to fraudulent activities.
4. Protect Your Personal and Financial Information
Be cautious when text messages request personal or financial details. Legitimate entities typically do not ask for such information via text. Treat unsolicited requests for sensitive data with skepticism to safeguard your privacy.
5. Beware of Unprompted Payment or Donation Requests
Stay alert to unsolicited requests for payments or donations by a text message spammer, especially if the sender claims to represent service providers or charities. Scammers may impersonate reputable organizations through text messages, urging you to contribute to their deceptive causes. Verify such requests through reliable channels to avoid falling victim to fraudulent schemes.
What Is an Example of a Spam Text Message?
According to SMS Comparison, 97% of all US adults own a mobile phone. And that indicates spam.
An example of a spam text message could be a fraudulent offer claiming you’ve won a prize, urging you to click a link or provide personal information to redeem it. Such messages often employ deceptive tactics to trick recipients into providing their information or installing malware.
The Mitigation Steps: How Can We Prevent Spamming?
Here’s how you can prevent falling into the trap of a text message spammer:
1. Use a VPN
A reliable VPN, like the FastestVPN, allows you to conceal your IP address and hide your online activities from a text message spammer. A premium VPN offers unmatched features, such as the WireGuard protocol and the AES 256-bit encryption, ensuring that none of your activities are leaked.
2. Ignore Unknown Texts
Numerous experts suggest employing filters to sift through text messages from unfamiliar sources. Nonetheless, exercise caution, as this may lead to missing essential notification texts related to deliveries and alerts, often originating from various numbers.
3. Don’t share personal information
All experts advise against sharing personal details through text messages due to this communication method’s inherent lack of security. Legitimate services do not solicit personal information via text, so treat any such requests as potential scams.
4. Read and Don’t Skim
While many spam messages exhibit apparent signs, such as incorrect spelling and poor grammar, sophisticated text scams may be more challenging to identify. It’s crucial to read messages from a text message spammer attentively and be wary of any requests for personal information, regardless of the apparent legitimacy.
This might be due to your contact info leaking online. Once the text spammers get your contact information, it's time for them to bombard you with spam texts. No, you don't get money for getting text scams. However, if you're a message spammer, then you may get paid by your employer who operates scam texts. You can list texts from a text message spammer as scams by blocking them or reporting them as scams on your phone. While a few mobile phones lack this feature, contacting your mobile phone carrier and reporting a number will help. Yes, spam texting is illegal. You can also report a text spammer or file a suit against them. Yes, according to TCPA, spamming text is illegal. However, a few exemptions exist for this act.
FAQs - Text Spammer
Why am I getting spam text messages?
Can I get money for spam texts?
How do I list texts as spam?
Is spam texting bad?
Is spamming text illegal?
This might be due to your contact info leaking online. Once the text spammers get your contact information, it's time for them to bombard you with spam texts.
No, you don't get money for getting text scams. However, if you're a message spammer, then you may get paid by your employer who operates scam texts.
You can list texts from a text message spammer as scams by blocking them or reporting them as scams on your phone. While a few mobile phones lack this feature, contacting your mobile phone carrier and reporting a number will help.
Yes, spam texting is illegal. You can also report a text spammer or file a suit against them.
Yes, according to TCPA, spamming text is illegal. However, a few exemptions exist for this act.
This article covered a comprehensive review of text spamming, how it works, its examples, and ways to mitigate it. Along with that, we also answered the frequently asked questions about text spammers.
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