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How Much Do Scam Text Messages Cost Americans?

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

A chart with the amount of money Americans lost from scam text messages in the year 2022.

How Much Do Text Message Scams Cost Americans?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

They’re a nuisance for the majority of the population that can spot them from a mile away, but falling prey to scam text messages can come with a real cost. Identity theft, access to sensitive banking information, and then actual financial repercussions are the usual route these scams end up taking.

We visualize the amount of money that Americans lost from scam text messages in the year 2022. These figures are sourced from reports filed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accessed via USA Facts.

Ranked: Type of Text Message Scams by Cost to Americans

At the top of the list, and costing Americans nearly $150 million in 2022, the most lucrative type of text message scams are related to investments and investment advice. Interestingly they’re some of the least reported ones, amounting to fewer than 6,000 filed complaints, which means the cost per scam is much higher than other categories.

RankTypeTotal Amount Lost (2022) Number of Reports
1Misc. investments and
investment advice
$149,530,0005,600
2Business imposters$35,060,000104,900
3Romance scams$33,700,0008,300
4Job and employment
scams
$15,760,00011,800
5Government imposters$10,800,00019,600
6Fake check scams$8,460,0005,900
7Prizes, sweepstakes,
and lotteries
$7,890,00011,600
8Online shopping$5,500,0009,300
9Medical treatments
& cures
$43,4204,200

At second place—by quite a distance—are scams with people impersonating businesses, tricking Americans out of nearly $35 million in 2022, and responsible for more than one-third of all fraud reports.

Meanwhile, “Romance” scammers don’t just steal hearts—they steal money too, close to $34 million, per the data. Using a variety of tools to create cyber identities, finding potential victims on dating apps, and then tricking people into sharing personal information is a common route they take. The FTC even has a whole page dedicated to the most-used lines these scammers use to work their way into unsuspecting people’s lives.

Employment scams, and government imposters round out the top five by cost to Americans: around $16 million and $10 million each.

In total, Americans lost $9 billion to scammers in 2022—across all types of fraud—including text messages, phone calls, emails, and social media. Text messages accounted for 22% of all fraud reports (329,599 in total) and 6% of text message scams in 2022 resulted in money being lost.

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Ranked: The World’s Top Flight Routes, by Revenue

In this graphic, we show the highest earning flight routes globally as air travel continued to rebound in 2023.

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The World’s Top Flight Routes, by Revenue

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In 2024, a record 4.7 billion people are projected to travel by air—200 million more than in 2019.

While revenues surged to an estimated $896 billion globally last year, airlines face extremely slim margins. On average, they made just $5.44 in net profit per passenger in 2023. Today, the industry faces pressures from high interest rates, supply chain woes, and steep infrastructure costs.

This graphic shows the highest earning flight routes worldwide, based on data from OAG.

The Top Revenue-Generating Routes in 2023

Below, we show the airline routes with the highest revenues in the first half of 2023:

Route Airport CodesRevenue H1 2023
Sydney to MelbourneSYD-MEL$1.21B
New York to LondonJFK-LHR$1.15B
Riyadh to JeddahRUH-JED$1.03B
Dubai to RiyadhDXB-RUH$990M
Los Angeles to New York LAX-JFK$801M
San Francisco to NewarkSFO-EWR$722M
Newark to Los AngelesEWR-LAX$682M
Singapore to SydneySIN-SYD$650M
New York to Paris JFK-CDG$647M
Perth to MelbournePER-MEL$642M

As we can see, domestic flights comprised six of the 10 largest revenue-generating flights, with Sydney to Melbourne ranking first overall, at $1.21 billion.

In fact, this route is earning more than twice that of pre-pandemic levels, even as the number of passengers declined. The flight route is largely dominated by Qantas and Virgin Australia, with Qantas achieving record-breaking domestic earnings margins of 18% in the fiscal year ending in June 2023. Lower fuel costs and soaring ticket prices were key factors in driving revenues.

Furthermore, Qantas and Virgin Australia are major carriers for flights between Melbourne and Perth, another top-earning route.

New York to London, one of the busiest and most profitable routes globally, generated $1.15 billion in revenues, representing a 37% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Overall, the flight route had 3.88 million scheduled airline seats for the full year of 2023.

The highest revenue increase over this period was for flights from Dubai to Riyadh, with revenues surging 416% year-over-year. This two-hour flight, a highly lucrative route between major financial centers, is one of the busiest in the Middle East.

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