WISCONSIN — While the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated its ability to shutter schools, close down businesses and overwhelm hospitals, one thing it hasn’t stopped is the growing number of robocalls received by people in Wisconsin.

In the first six months of 2021, approximately 40.1 billion spam calls were made to U.S. households, according to a new midyear report from mobile app RoboKiller. By year’s end, that number is expected to grow by more than 30 billion calls.

Spam texts are also on the rise, the report notes. In the first half of the year, scammers sent 47.5 billion spam texts, a number that’s projected to reach 86 billion by year’s end.

In the report, Robokiller identifies robotexts as the “newest spam threat to Americans.” In August 2020, total spam texts surpassed the number of robocalls placed in the United States. It’s remained that way since the release of those numbers.

In Wisconsin, residents received as many as 1.5 million robocalls and as many as 2 billion spam texts during the first months of 2021.

Those calls haven’t been cheap.

U.S. households lost approximately $325 million to scam calls and $45.5 million to scam texts during the first half of the year. Those numbers are only expected to climb. By year’s end, total financial losses are expected to nearly double.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted phone scam operations
worldwide in 2020, scammers were eager to get back to the phones as soon as possible — and the numbers prove it,”…

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