Phone call fraud and spam callers were analyzed in a recent report by Hiya. According to the report, one-fourth of all unknown phone calls analyzed were unwanted, and the average mobile phone user received approximately 14 spam calls per month.
The report compared the rates of phone fraud and spam in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, specifically. Of the three, the U.K. was found to have the highest rate of spam calls (28% of unknown calls), followed by the U.S. (27%) and Canada (20%). For the past few years, the U.K. has held the distinction of having the highest rate of fraud calls in Europe.
According to the report, the following are some of the top phone scams in 2023:
Amazon: Amazon impersonators may say they suspect an unauthorized purchase, or that the credit card linked to the account needs to be updated. Often the scammers start with a robocall, and if the recipient falls for the scam and presses a number, a live operator will come on and try to get the victim to reveal their Amazon login information or a credit card number.
Insurance: Fraudsters may be trying to sell a bogus insurance policy or claim that the victim needs to pay an outstanding bill. During the call, a scammer will try to obtain sensitive personal information, such as a social security or credit card number.
Medicare: Fraudsters try to obtain a person’s Medicare number to falsely bill the government for medical services. Recently, scammers have offered victims free home COVID-19 tests which they say will be paid for by Medicare.
Credit card: Scammers try many different tricks to get victims to give out their credit card number and security code. They may say there is a package delivery that needs payment, a subscription that needs to be renewed, or that they’re calling from the credit card company’s fraud department because of a suspected unauthorized transaction.
Cryptocurrency: Whether the offer comes in via phone, email or text message, these scams take advantage of people’s desire to make a quick, easy profit. In the U.S. alone, $1.4 billion was lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2022.
Loved ones: Loved ones scams involve fraudsters calling pretending to be a grandchild, daughter, son, or other relative. The distraught loved one insists they are in trouble and begs the relative to wire money.
Payment apps: Apps such as Venmo, PayPal, Zelle and CashApp are being targeted by scammers. These apps don’t have the same consumer protections that credit cards do, and when fraudsters steal money from them it’s like stealing cash.
Read the full report here.