Feb 22, 2021, 12:45 ET
NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- RoboKiller, the app that eliminates 99% of spam calls and text messages, released today their annual Robocall Report revealing the key spam call and text trends of the past year. 2020 was a unique and challenging year for everyone, scammers included. Global quarantine orders early in the year helped drive 6.7 billion fewer spam calls in 2020 versus 2019, but scammers were quick to adapt. Spam texting is now on a dramatic rise, with total scam texts of 55.4 billion exceeding the total number of spam calls in 2020. However, spam call volumes returned to normal levels exiting the year.
2020 Key Findings:
- The COVID-19 global pandemic led to a 50% decline in spam calls from April to June 2020. However, by September 2020, spam calls were back to their normal levels of 5 billion robocalls per month.
- In total, Americans lost $319 million to COVID-19 related fraud over the last 12 months, according to the FTC.
- Americans received an estimated 16 billion political text messages in 2020 - 9.8 billion were Republican-related, and 4.6 billion were Democrat-related.
- Spam call volume remained at a normal level post the end of summer rebound. Between October and December, Americans received an average of 5.8 billion spam calls a month - a 17% increase from July - September. RoboKiller anticipates this number will grow in 2021.
TOP SPAM CALLED STATES IN 2020:
- Texas: 6.3B
- Alabama: 1B
- South Carolina: 1B
- Arkansas: 636M
- Arizona: 1.4B
The top state targeted by scammers was Texas, with 6.3 billion spam calls - a 6% increase from 2019. Other states like Arizona saw a 27% yearly increase in spam calls, while Louisiana received less robocalls in 2020 at 827 million.
TOP FIVE PHONE SCAMS IN 2020:
- Social Security: 14%
- Vehicle Warranty: 12%
- Religious: 11%
- Vacation Offer: 10%
- Credit Card Offer: 9%
Social Security topped scam categories in 2020 at 14% replacing 2019's top category of Credit Card Offers. The shift could be explained by the events of 2020 that caused more Americans to rely on unemployment, stimulus payments, and other government programs.
54 BILLION SPAM CALLS, $3.3 BILLION IN CONSUMER LOSSES
Despite low spam call volume in the first half of the year, consumers still suffered severe financial losses. In 2020, 31% of consumers reporting fraud noted they were contacted via phone call, and 27% reported they were contacted via text.
The financial impact of robocalls:
- 2.2 million fraud reports filed
- $3.3 billion losses to fraud
- 31% of fraud reporters said they were contacted via phone call
- 27% of fraud reporters said they were contacted via text
- Consumers lost $319 million to COVID-19 related fraud
PHONE SPAM PREDICTIONS FOR 2021
Based on recent trends, RoboKiller expects scammers will design smarter, more believable phone scams as they attempt to recover financial losses from 2020. This trend could potentially result in higher annual consumer losses to phone fraud and more unwanted calls and texts if consumers do not protect themselves. RoboKiller predicts spam texts could become more prevalent and reach 90 billion by the end of 2021, while spam calls will likely reach an annual total of about 70 billion robocalls.
In 2021, RoboKiller will continue to advocate against phone fraud, help shut down scam operations, and invest heavily in robust spam text and spam call blocking technology to stop dangerous scams from reaching consumers.
RoboKiller is one of the top iPhone utility apps in the US, helping users block over 500M telemarketers and robocalls from calling their phones. With over 5 billion robocalls made to US consumers each month, phone spam continues to be the #1 complaint to the FCC, driving hundreds of thousands of RoboKiller app downloads per month. RoboKiller, a Teltech brand, is a division of Mosaic Group, an IAC Company (NASDAQ: IAC).
RoboKiller is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. To learn more about RoboKiller, visit www.robokiller.com.
RoboKiller employs an unbiased, anonymous machine-learning based approach to understand political message trends. The estimates above are based on RoboKiller's proprietary data and user feedback and are for information purposes only. Robocall trends, text trends, and featured data are not a representation of any single political party, person, or organization's campaign efforts.
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