Mobile Spam Affects Most U.S. Adults
Billions of text messages are sent across the phone networks in the U.S. every day. And with smart phones making communications and connections to the world easier, there is no sign of texting slowing down. But are these billions of text messages conversations between family, friends, and coworkers? A new study found that 72% of texters reported receiving mobile spam.
Conducted by Harris Interactive and Cloudmark, the research found that unsolicited text messages are prevalent in the U.S. Out of the 2475 responders to an online survey, 60% reported receiving mobile spam text messages within the last 12 months. Unsolicited text messages can be dangerous to users because of phishing attacks, where spammers attempt to acquire online banking credentials.
The results showed that when Americans received unsolicited text messages, they were unsure how to respond. According to the survey, 41% of people said that they reply to the spam text message with the word “Stop,” as unsolicited messages usually inform the person to do if they wish to stop receiving spam. But according to Cloudmark researcher Andrew Conway, replying “Stop” tells the spammer that the mobile phone number is active, encouraging more spam.
Young adults, who are between the ages of 18 and 34, were more vulnerable to interacting with spam messages. According to the survey, 20% of young adults said they have responded to spam text messages by clicked on a provided link. An additional 16% of them said they have called the unsolicited number provided.
To fight unsolicited text messages, mobile phone carriers have already set up mechanisms to prevent spam messages on their networks. “All the major carriers in the United States including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile and a growing number of carriers internationally have processes in place for consumers to report mobile spam,” said Conway.
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