According to research by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the most common form of text message scam reported to the FTC were false bank fraud warnings. In a newly issued data spotlight, the FTC ranks the top five types of text message scam reported in 2022, with examples of each showing the ways that scammers craft messages designed to deceive consumers. Consumers reported losing $330 million to text message scams in 2022, more than doubling what was reported in 2021.

The top five text scams were:

  1. Bank fraud alerts.
  2. Free gift messages.
  3. False package delivery issues.
  4. False job offers.
  5. False Amazon fraud prevention messages.

The analysis looked at a random sample of 1,000 text messages reported to the FTC, finding that fake bank security messages, often supposedly from large banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, were the most common type.

These texts are designed to create a sense of urgency, often by asking people to verify a large transaction they did not make. Those who respond are connected to a fake bank representative. Reports of texts impersonating banks have increased nearly twentyfold since 2019.