AG Moody warns that robotexts are now more prevalent than robocalls

ORLANDO, Fla. — As we head into the new year, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians about the rise in robotexts.

In 2021 Americans are projected to receive 71 billion robotexts. With Americans being on track to receive 86 billion automated text messages nationwide this coming year, robotexts are now more prevalent than robocalls.

Floridians are expected to get nearly 5 billion robotexts this year, making Florida one of the most spam-texted states in the nation.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

“These automated text messages are now more prevalent, and potentially more dangerous, than robocalls since malicious links can be clicked on directly in a text. These links often contain malware that can be instantly downloaded to a phone,” Moody said. “Any interaction with this type of text will show the scammer that the phone number is active, making the targeted user vulnerable to further messages. Consumers should be wary of opening or clicking links in unrecognized texts.”

Citizens can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry, to help eliminate telemarketing texts and calls to a phone.

Read: Child Tax Credit: IRS sending letter with tax filing info to those who received payments

Signing up for the registry allows a citizen to report unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission after being on the list for 31 days.

Violators, or those who call someone on the National Do Not Call List, can be fined per call.

You can register at DoNotCall.gov or call (888)382-1222.

Read: Police: California man killed grandmother, father’s girlfriend as they opened presents

Moody also offered tips to avoid falling victim to illegal robotexts:

· Avoid answering texts from unrecognized numbers. Interacting with these messages shows the scammer that the targeted user is active and will lead to more frequent scam messages.

· Do not click on links in text messages from unknown numbers as they often contain malware or lead to malicious websites.

· Consider downloading text and call blocking apps to further prevent these scam texts from reaching a phone.

· Know suspicious text messages from a five to six-digit short code telephone number may be a scam, unless the sender has registered the number in the U.S. Short Code Directory and the content of the message matches the registrant.

Read: FBI detains woman after ‘disturbance’ on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta

Moody recently led an effort to stop illegal robocallers from misusing legitimate phone numbers. Fifty other attorneys general signed on with Attorney General Moody to support the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to prevent scammers from circumventing previously implemented anti-robocall technology by initiating stricter reviewing and monitoring of phone companies.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.