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U.S. Citizens Lost $39.5 Billion to Phone Frauds Alone Over the Past Year

33% of US citizens reported having fallen victim to phone scams.

 

A recent study estimates that scams have increased threefold in the US in the last 12 months resulting in the loss of $39.5 billion, which is the highest number registered since Truecaller, Swedish caller identification and spam blocking app, began researching scam and spam calls in the U.S. eight years ago. 

According to the report, which was undertaken in partnership with The Harris Poll in March 2022, 33% of US citizens reported having fallen victim to phone scams, and 20% on more than one occasion. 55.6% of those who fell victim to a phone scam were men, compared to only 42.2% of those who were women. 

Furthermore, men aged 65 and above, and Hispanics were more likely to fall for scams and phone frauds than those aged below or belonging to any other ethnicity. Nearly, 74% of Hispanic people were targeted and lost money in the last 12 months when compared to Black or White adult individuals.

Approximately 63% of Americans feel like they may miss legitimate calls due to the fear of spam calls. To protect themselves, 43% of people reported they downloaded a spam blocker and/or caller ID. A whopping 86% of Americans said only pick up when the caller is recognizable, 60% have stopped picking up calls altogether and have shifted to other methods of communicating. These include texts, emails, social media apps, faxes, etc. 

To mitigate risks, adults preferred to take action by downloading Spam Blocker/Caller ID apps while people above the age of 65 preferred blocking their credit cards or altering account numbers after being scammed. 

The study suggests that despite the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) efforts to regulate via the STIR/SHAKEN framework (a set of FCC standards aimed at protecting Americans from robocalls/scammers) nearly 68.4 million Americans fell victim to at least a phone scam in the last 12 months, indicating fraudsters are bypassing government regulation and finding more sophisticated methods to target users. 

“The findings from this year are concerning and shed light on the fact that fraudsters and scammers continue to outsmart increased government regulation. Additionally, with many robocalls coming from overseas, the increase in regulation will need to work in parallel with technological advancements provided by caller ID and spam-blocking apps, such as Truecaller,” stated Alan Mamedi, CEO of Truecaller. 

India: 4th most spammed nation 

According to Truecaller’s Global Scam Report 2021, India received 4th position in spam sales and telemarketing calls and was placed right behind Brazil, Peru, and Ukraine. 

The sales-related calls made up a vast majority (93.5%) of all incoming spam calls in the country. The report also made a special mention of a single number in India that apparently made over 202 Mn spam calls – more than 664,000 calls every day or 27,000 calls every hour.
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