Last month I read two articles online that claimed the number of spam phone calls were going down, thanks to the coronavirus. The articles were on websites that I would consider reputable. The first one was on USA Today:
The other article was posted in the Los Angeles Times:
I checked my phone. Hmmm, the number of unknown or “spam likely” calls was down. But over the next few weeks, I started being flooded with text messages that seem to be spam. Never had I received so many unsolicited messages! Here’s a few of the text messages sent to me:
“Our records detected that your scores
have gone up. Check all 3 at ________”
“You have gifts waiting from ___.
Get yours today at ____.”
“This is Ethan with Planned Parenthood in ____.
I just wanted to see how you are doing during
these uncertain times. How are you?”
“Important new changes to 2020 driving
privileges: https:___ tvvx”
“Last call: This device will lower your
electricity bill by 90% each month
“Remember the movie Limitless. It’s now a
reality. Use 100% of your brain, using this:
“Hi, you’ve been randomly selected to represent
____ residents in a nationwide survey of
American opinion on President Trump’s
pandemic response. https://____”
“Let ___ know what you think and select
a gift: http://___”
“Danielle here from __ Nonprofit Association
access to medical care. Fill out the census online
https://2020census.gov/ so you and your entire
family can get medical care when you need it.
This text was sent by an individual. Reply
STOP to cancel.”
We have been plagued by both live telemarketers and robocalls for decades now. The phone companies and government have supposedly been trying to get a handle on the problem, without much success. Even being on the government’s official “Do Not Call” list does not seem to help much. Most people no longer answer their phone if it’s an unknown number, because it is likely to be a spammer.
So the spammers are getting frustrated, and are switching over to text messages. That forces people to see the message, even if only for a few seconds as they are deleting it. Some days I really wonder why I bother to have a phone.