Robotexts on the rise as federal regulators crack down on robocalls

PITTSBURGH — Robocalls are annoying, distracting and seemingly unavoidable. In the last year and a half, scammers used billions of them to take advantage of pandemic relief programs and stimulus money.

Federal regulators are finally cracking down on robocalls, but that’s leading to more robotexts.

The company Robokiller estimates Americans will receive more than 86 billion robotexts in 2021, an increase of 55% from the year before. Consumer advocates worry the problem is only going to get worse.

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission launched a robocall mitigation database. Consumer advocates said this is leading to a decrease in robocalls, but the new regulations don’t apply to text messages.

While robotexts are on the rise, they haven’t proved to be as effective at fooling people as an actual phone call.

CLICK HERE for more on what consumer advocates are saying.

If you get a robotext, don’t respond. The FCC said some phone companies will allow you to block the sender by forwarding the texts to 7726 or SPAM. You can check with your service provider to see if that’s an option.

Another tip: Whenever you’re signing up for a product or service, read the privacy policy. If you need to provide a phone number, check or uncheck the box to opt out of receiving texts.