Report: Average Mobile Phone User Gets 14 Spam Calls Monthly

The average mobile phone user gets 14 spam calls monthly, according to a report from voice security firm Hiya. The study found that a quarter of unknown calls received are unwanted and believes that artificial intelligence is being put to use by spammers.

The U.K., at 28%, has the highest rate of unknown calls. The U.S. follows closely at 27%. Canada has a 20% rate.

The report also offers data from KONTXT, part of RealNetworks. Billions of text messages analyzed in August found that 77% of messaging fraud attempts were via SMS and 23% via MMS. Hiya’s listing of top phone scams this year is based on an analysis of 98 billion phone calls worldwide between January 1, 2023, and June 30, 2023:

Amazon: Amazon impersonators may say they suspect an unauthorized purchase, or that the credit card linked to the account needs to be updated.

Insurance: There is a wide variety of insurance scams related to auto insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and more. Fraudsters may be trying to sell a bogus insurance policy or claim that the victim needs to pay an outstanding bill.

Medicare: Medicare scams have been around for years. Fraudsters try to obtain a person’s Medicare number to falsely bill the government for medical services. Recently, scammers say they have free home COVID 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 numbers and security code.

Cryptocurrency: 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. Fraudsters may be using AI to manipulate existing recordings of the relative’s voice.

Payment apps: Peer-to-peer payments apps — such as Venmo, PayPal, Zelle and CashApp — are being targeted by scammers.

The U.S. is trying to do its part. Operation Stop Spam Calls was launched in July. Participants include the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


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