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Spam calls back with vengeance in 2021, spam texts expected to get worse

Robocalls FCC Fine
Posted at 9:45 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 09:45:47-05

Many enjoyed a break from spam calls during the middle of 2020, but you shouldn’t expect that to be the case this year.

Scam calls were back with a vengeance at the end of the year, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021.

One robocall expert estimates Americans will see about 70 billion total spam calls this year.

“Scammers are behind on their earnings, they're trying to make up for lost grab from 2020, so they're getting more aggressive and more targeted in the types of phone scams that they are sending to you,” said Giulia Porter with RoboKiller.

That targeting includes playing off current events, so you can expect to see more delivery scams for example.

RoboKiller is also predicting we'll see even more spam texts than calls in 2021. It's estimating 90 billion of those in the U.S. That's a 60% yearly increase from 2020.

“What we kind of expect is driving this is, you know, a lot of people don't trust unknown phone numbers. They're not answering their phone as often, so scammers are getting trickier and finding new ways to communicate with you,” said Porter.

Porter says sending those spam texts is cheap, fast and people may be more likely to open them than answer a scam call.

One way you can potentially cut down on these is making sure your number isn't available online.

“Doing a quick Google search of your phone number will actually show you where you may be exposed, so we always recommend just kind of having some sort of awareness of how vulnerable your phone number may be already,” said Porter.

A spam call or text blocker app could be another option.

Robocall experts are watching how much the call filtering technology called “STIR/SHAKEN” that the big phone carriers started implementing last year impacts robocalls. It's supposed to recognize legitimate numbers and warn about suspicious ones. All providers are supposed to have the technology in place by June.