Spam Scam Wham: Email And Phone Are The Main Delivery Channels, Study Asserts

Email, that beloved channel, is the main vehicle for unwanted spam and scams, according to a study by Zipwhip, a text message service provider.

Of consumers polled, 70% report they often receive spam messages. Only 7% rarely get them, and 2% never do, the study says, as reported in a Tuesday blog post. 

In contrast, 51% often get phone messages, and 32% get them somewhat often. But 15% rarely get them, and 2% say they never do. 

We strongly disagree with the study’s definition of spam — i.e.,  that it’s unsolicited marketing from a legitimate business. We view spam as email sent by bad actors, for the purpose of fraud or malware delivery.

That’s how Zipwhip defines scam emails — as “messages designed to trick you into giving money or sharing personal information that can be used to steal money or your identity.” 

Email also leads in the delivery of these unwanted messages, although it’s much closer, with 46% often receiving fake offers and 30% receiving them somewhat often. A mere 6% never get them, and 18% get them rarely.



Scam phone messages are often made to 43%, and 29% somewhat often.

But here’s the apparent point of this study: only 18% of the people surveyed get spam text messages, 27% are hit with them somewhat often. But 41% rarely get them, and 14% never.

It’s similar with scam offers: 17% frequently get them by text, and 22% are hit with them somewhat often. Yet 40% rarely get them and 22% never. 

Of all these channels, the phone seems the most out of control: 35% of the respondents have reported a robocall to the FCC, FTC or their network carrier. And, in general, an all-time high of 5.7 billion robocalls were made in October. 

But email marketers hardly get a pass: spam messages (as defined by Zipwhip) made up 56% of all global email traffic.

What’s more, 42% find it difficult to unsubscribe from emails, and 54% use a separate email address to avoid spam. 

In contrast, 2.8% of all text messages, according to an FCC statistic quoted in the study. The conclusion? That texting “remains a trustworthy communication medium.”

The study further asserts that “if texts had been classified as a telecommunication service like phone calls, carriers would have had little control over malicious messages and our text inboxes might look like our email inboxes today.” 

Tut tut. As we’ve reported from numerous surveys, email is a robust medium, driving massive revenue in both the B2C and B2B sectors. 

Zipwhip surveyed 529 U.S. consumers via SurveyMonkey.


5 comments about "Spam Scam Wham: Email And Phone Are The Main Delivery Channels, Study Asserts".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, December 18, 2019 at 6:28 p.m.

    Every year will see new scams of all kinds. I found a new one in the past month that the scummy bad guys are send emails of affilate ads. What the major change is the bad guys are buying hundreds of domain names and rotating the affilate ads. 

    In the end, consumers get hurt and bad guys are getting paid from legit ads or ads that look legit with this scam.

  2. Tony Quart from Bizousoft replied, December 19, 2019 at 9 a.m.

    @Craig, yeah. I also receive many new kind of scams on phone every year. Those scammers are never getting tired of trying to steal our money. They're very persistent. I read hundreds of reports and warnings filed by people at social media and complaint baords like everyday. People should read the news often to avoid these scams.

  3. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, December 19, 2019 at 5:39 p.m.

    Tony, there is another tool you can use that will slow them down. This is through your hosting company.  In talking with my service provider, Cox Communications security dept., they have a email address called "". This has slowed down the flow of the emails greatly.  

  4. Tony Quart from Bizousoft, December 20, 2019 at 7:03 a.m.

    I rarely open my email, so email spam might be the last thing that makes me worry. However, almost every single day I receive spam and scam calls both on my landline and mobile phone. I never pick them up, though. It's better to just ignore them. Look up the numbers on sites like and report those numbers to the authority.

  5. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC replied, December 20, 2019 at 7:13 p.m.

    On telephone calls, there is a trick I started using that helps. When the call happens, I simply answers the call then not make a sound. The bad guys calling programs are mostly voice activated. What happens is nothing. After about 5 to 10 seconds you will hear a fast pitch set of beeps. Most of the database callers will kick these out and you don't get internet calls from that fake number.  This is not the fest solution but does work.

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