Brand impersonation scams are on the rise according to research by YouMail. Brand impersonation schemes involve malicious actors deploying robocalls or text messages to impersonate a prominent company to scam the receiver into giving away personal data, account credentials, payments and more. The study found that scammers most frequently pose as financial institutions and package delivery companies.
More than three out of four of survey respondents (78%) said they have been the target of brand impersonation scams. This translates to well over 200 million people in the U.S. who have been targeted. The most common scams were financial services (51%), package delivery companies (49%), e-commerce sites and online stores (45%) and hospitality services (21%).
Further, almost half of all respondents (45%) reported getting 10 or more of these scam calls and texts per month. This translates to over 125 million Americans receiving multiple brand impersonation scam calls each week.
Over nine in 10 of Gen Z respondents aged 18-26 (93%) have received brand impersonation scam calls and texts, versus about seven in 10 Baby Boomers aged 59 and older (73%). This contrast suggests that young people are getting more of the imposter scam calls than the old, despite older adults generally thought to be targeted and most at risk.
Further, one in six of Gen Z (17%) and one in five of Millennial respondents aged 27-42 (20%) suffered financial losses from scams, compared to only one in 17 of Boomers (6%). Again, the younger generations appear to be about three times more likely to suffer financial losses from an imposter scam than the oldest adults.
Roughly half of survey respondents (47%) said they are less likely to accept calls or texts from brands that have suffered imposter calls. Similarly, just under half of respondents (45%) said they would simply lose trust in doing business with the original brand.