Spam calls, robotexts on the rise as 2024 election gets closer – Here’s how you can help prevent it

We’ve all gotten spam calls and robotexts, but you may have noticed it’s picked up this summer, now with political and campaign texts. 

They might include calls to donate, to sign a petition or to answer polling – often signed from political candidates or presidential campaign PACs. 

Cyber experts said people are reportedly inundated with these texts to donate, but they warn they are hard to escape – and need to be reported. 

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"Almost all organizations are going to sell your name and a mailing list to interested parties, and then that name can end up on that list for well over a decade, two decades, easily," said Roger Grimes, KnowBe4 data defense expert. "It's impossible to donate and not have [the organization] resell your information, including your phone number, your name, your email address." 

Experts warned that it’s not always the candidates sending these texts either, so be wary of clicking on donation or petition links. 

"I think maybe only 10% of the time it is really that person's campaign. It's usually somebody acting to work on behalf of that campaign, but they're not," said Grimes. 

FOX 13 spoke with another cybersecurity expert versed in campaign spam about the influx this year. 

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"Unfortunately, in a campaign year, in the very last four months or three months, it's high volume, because you really want to get out the audience. So it's hundreds of millions [of texts and calls]," said Peter Tran, a CISO global cyber infrastructure expert. 

According to the FCC, if you are receiving texts that you didn’t ask for, you can report the sender by forwarding the texts to 7726, or "SPAM," but campaigns should honor opt-out requests if you reply "STOP."

Tran said there are ways to limit these texts if replying "stop" doesn’t do the trick:

  • Report spam to your cell-service provider and the FCC
  • Report messages as junk and block them on your device
  • Turn on your phone’s spam blocker
  • Consider a filter app

"Yes, 100% yes, file with the FCC, because the FCC does keep track, and they do track malicious robotech platforms," said Tran. 

Experts expects texts to decline after November’s election, but warn that your number can stay on "robo-lists" for years to come. 


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