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Spam or scam phone calls are a serious matter. According to a study by Ben Treanor from Time2play, every day the average American receives 3 to 4 spam calls daily. These calls have the power to damage one’s life.
Because of the vast amount of phone numbers around the world, scammers often have a lot of numbers to call. In the USA, there have been recorded cases of successful spam calls nationwide. In 2022 alone, 8.8 billion USD were reported lost, according to last year’s data from the Federal Trade Commission.
In this article, discover how many spam calls there are in the country, their damaging effects on a person’s life, and how to spot them in real life.
Interesting Scam Calls Statistics
- An estimated 55% of the overall number of calls made are phone scams.
- 46 Billion robocalls or scam calls are identified in the US in 2020.
- On a global average, a person may receive 18 scam calls per month.
- 28% of scam callers use personal information to coax potential victims.
- In 2021, a single scam group in India made over 200 million scam calls, making over 27,000 scam attempts per hour.
Growth of Spam Phone Calls
In 2022, Americans were swindled out of approximately $87 billion by robocalls and phone scams, marking a staggering 116% increase from the previous year. Consumers received nearly 86 million robocalls in total.
Phone fraud and other types of cellphone identity theft reached record levels globally in the fourth quarter of last year. In Hiya’s Global Call Threat Report 2022, there were 7.5 billion instances of phone spam in the last three months of 2022. Europe experienced the brunt of the surge.
To tackle the problem of overseas calls entering American phone networks, the Federal Communications Commission has introduced new rules. These require all service providers to adopt the industry-standard caller ID authentication technology known as STIR/SHAKEN. The FCC hopes that these protocols will safeguard customers against the threat of robocalls.
Phone Number Spoofing is a way for scammers to make caller IDs show false information. These scam companies or people know that many people no longer answer calls from 1-800 numbers.
Scammers try to get people to answer calls they would normally ignore by putting fake local phone numbers or information into caller ID devices. Spoofing a phone number is usually legal in the U.S. unless it is done with the intent to scam or hurt someone.
According to the FCC’s Truth in Caller ID Act, “any person or entity is prohibited from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain something of value.”
If someone faked your phone number, you’ll probably get a lot of angry callback messages. People who don’t know the number will often call it back to stop the spam calls.
Even though a helpful voicemail won’t stop the calls, it can help victims understand the situation and make it less likely that they’ll fall into any kind of scam.
How Much is Lost Through Spam Calls?
Truecaller and The Harris Poll released the results of a study that looked at the effects of spam and phone scams. The study says that a shocking $39.5 billion was lost to phone scams in 2021.
This figure is the highest amount since Truecaller began studying scams and spam calls in the U.S. eight years ago.
As of 2021, each phone scam cost an average of $567.41. This was a huge jump from 2020 when a scam call only cost an average of $182. That means that between 2020 and 2021, the amount of money lost per scam call went up by a huge 212%.
Scammers often use different tactics in order to gain more money from their victims.
Most Popular Scam Call Tactics
Scammers are creative when employing different ways to steal your money. Aside from phone number spoofing, here are some common tactics they use to get money from victims:
- IRS Scams – Scammers pretend they’re part of the IRS or a collection partner of the IRS and often demand payments for loans that you need to be made aware of.
- Phishing Scams – Phishing scammers try to convince people to download illegal software on their devices and steal private information on the said device. They claim they’re part of a big technology company like Microsoft or Google and tell customers they have a software issue.
- Free Rewards Calls – These scammers often tell you they represent a company that gives you free vacation packages or prizes and forces people to pay some fees to claim the reward.
These scam tactics are centered on building authority and coercing the victim to do as they say through aggressive telemarketing, misinformation, and placing threats on your safety.
Recent data breach statistics show that large-scale data breaches have caused significant problems for any person. Any form of data breach and identity theft can also cause scammers to use your phone number.
Scam calls also cost hundreds of dollars and come from all over the world.
Where do Scam Calls Originate?
Hundreds of telemarketing and student loan scam calls are made from the U.S. In June, the Federal Trade Commission cracked down on robocalls in the U.S. by taking 94 actions against different scams.
Most of the callers were from Florida and California, and they used robocalling to pull off interest rate reduction, weight loss, and medical alert system scams.
There are also travel scams in Guatemala, Mexico, and Costa Rica, medical brace scams in the Philippines and Latin America, and IRS and social security scams from India.
No matter where the calls came from, you really weren’t alone. In June 2021, Americans got 4.4 billion robocalls, which is an average of 1,700 calls per second or about 13 calls per person. Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, and New York are the top five states that get the most robocalls.
Top States with the Most Spam Calls
According to the 2021 Phone Scam Insights from RoboKiller, the spam call issue took an invasive step to people’s homes in 2020. More people on homes equals more opportunities to scam them.
Because of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the states most affected by them are also some of the most populated in the country.
These are the five states that get the most spam calls:
- New York
However, the list changes if you switch to looking at the number of phone scams per person. In 2021, Arkansas reported an average of 383 per person, with Texas just shy of 372 calls in the state
Spam calls and scams are widespread issues that affect people in the US and around the world. The number of these calls continues to increase, and scammers are finding new and creative ways to defraud victims.
The financial losses caused by these scams are significant, and it is essential to be aware of the tactics scammers use to protect themselves.
With an understanding of how they operate and identifying signs of a fraud attempt, you can be more vigilant and protect yourself from these scam callers.