Phone fraud in Q2 of 2023 was analyzed in a recent report by Hiya. While the overall volume of spam calls, defined as unwanted calls including both fraud and nuisance, declined from Q1, data collected showed that the rate of fraud calls increased in 30 out of 39 countries in the second quarter, led by Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic and Australia.
From Q1 to Q2, the phone fraud rate increased 375% in Puerto Rico, 177% in the Czech Republic and 170% in Australia. Rounding out the top 10: India (164%), Israel (155%), Poland (145%), New Zealand (144%), Indonesia (137%), Singapore (116%) and Slovakia (83%). A handful of countries saw their phone fraud rates decline in Q2, led by Austria (33% decline), the UK (28% decline) and Portugal (9% decline).
The research identified 6.5 billion instances of phone spam worldwide in Q2, down slightly from Q1 (6.7 billion spam calls). On average, research found 500 million phone spam calls per week (or around 70 million per day) in Q2, peaking at 550 million spam calls the week of April 10. In the US in Q2, one out of every four calls from a non-contact was flagged as “suspected spam.” Popular scams included Venmo-related fraud, impersonation of family members and a resurgence of auto warranty scams.
Despite receiving fewer spam calls than Americans in Q2, Canadians continue to experience a higher percentage of fraud: 6.3% compared to the US’s 1.3%. Impersonation scams were popular in Canada in Q2, with fraudsters pretending to be loved ones, government officials and Amazon. In the UK in Q2, 28% of calls from non-contacts were spam. Of those, one in three were fraud calls. Common scams included Amazon, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and family member impersonators.
Spain and France had the highest rates of unwanted calls in Europe in Q2. Spain’s spam rate was 44.9% and France’s rate was 42.5%. What’s more, Spain has the second-highest rate of fraud in Europe. Bank scams were popular in both Spain and France. In the Asia-Pacific region, spam rates in Indonesia and Hong Kong topped 50%.
Additionally, several of the countries featured in the report experienced an increase in scams where fraudsters impersonated family members.
Read the full report here.