Unwanted calls to consumers this year have spiked by 76% in 2017, up from more than 10B last year, according to the Robocall Radar Report by Hiya,
According to Hiya, a leader in phone spam protection, from the release of their 2017 Robocall Radar Report of more than 3.5 billion calls and texts, unwanted calls to U.S. consumers overall have increased by 76% in 2017, up from over 10 billion last year, and the most prevalent type of scam currently targeting Americans is the “Neighbor Scam.”
Deemed the “Scam Tactic of the Year” by Hiya, grew in prevalence by a shocking 750% this year. Phone fraudsters use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software to mimic (also known as spoofing) the first six digits of a user’s phone number, the area code and the following three digits, to trick consumers into thinking a nearby friend or business is calling. Based on 2 billion calls flagged as spam by Hiya since the beginning of the year, Hiya estimates that one in three user reports, reference the Neighbor Scam.
Jonathan Nelson, Senior Product Manager, Reputation Data of Hiya, says “Scammers are constantly creating new ways to trick consumers into picking up the phone and this time that involves spoofing local numbers… while many consumers now know to be wary of unknown callers, the latest threat comes disguised as a number similar to your own, dramatically increasing the likelihood that someone would answer the call.”
Consumers should be aware of common scam techniques that fraudsters leveraging the neighbor scam use once they have someone on the line:
The Neighbor Scam was far from the only tactic being used to defraud consumers this year. Based on its real-time analysis that identifies spammers in minutes, Hiya rounded out the top five scams of the year, which include:
In a year where scam and fraudulent calls continued to increase and innovate in frequency more than ever before, the report provides a valuable solution by helping consumers determine whether or not to pick up the phone. This includes identifying legitimate numbers by name as well as identifying and blocking known spam and scam numbers.