It's Not Your Neighbor Calling

According to data from Hiya, neighbor scam makes up more than half of all unwanted robocalls in 2018, and neighbor scam has evolved from spoofing first six digits down to the area code.

“The Neighbor Scam is a tactic phone fraudsters use 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 picking up the phone thinking it’s a neighbor or nearby business calling,” says Hiya in a new report. “Since spam detection services like Hiya have been working hard to protect users from those spammers spoofing the first six digits, spammers have moved on to also spoofing the first five, four, or three digits in the hopes of getting consumers to pick up what appears to be a neighbor’s call.” 

“The Neighbor Scam is growing rapidly and scammers are also evolving the tactic to trick you to answer the phone, says the report. Based on the analysis of 5.3 billion calls per month by Hiya, the global leader in phone spam protection, the Neighbor Scam has made up 56.7% of all phone scams made to Hiya users between January to May 2018.”

Jonathan Nelson, Director, Reputation Data of Hiya, says “Scammers are never idle with their tactics and, with the Neighbor Scam, they are experimenting with all the ways to spoof their number to get consumers to pick up the phone. Many consumers are now aware of the Neighbor Scam but it hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to be savvy and attempting to evolve the tactic by calling with similar numbers, whether it’s mimicking the first six digits down to only the area code.”

Hiya collected data through May that also identified the most common area codes being spoofed in the Neighbor Scam:

Most Common Area Codes “Spoofed”

Area Code

City Spoofed








San Antonio








Las Vegas





Source: Hiya, May 2018

 “Consumers should be aware of common scam techniques that fraudsters leveraging the neighbor scam use once they have someone on the line, says the report:

  • Scare tactics - Scammers will make consumers believe that there is a warrant out for their arrest or that they inadvertently owe the IRS money in order to scare consumers into providing them with personal or financial information.
  • Immediate demand of payment - Scammers create a sense of urgency so consumers believe they need to pay immediately or suffer dire consequences.
  • Unrequested services - The caller offers travel discounts, interest rate adjustments, or refinancing debts that the consumer didn't request.

Hiya provides a valuable solution by helping consumers determine whether or not to pick up the phone, including identifying legitimate numbers by name as well as identifying and blocking known spam and scam numbers. “

Hiya is available for free on iTunes and Google Play. To learn more about Hiya, please visit here.



1 comment about "It's Not Your Neighbor Calling".
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  1. Tony Quart from Bizousoft, May 30, 2018 at 3:34 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this information. I think I have read so many reports and complaints egarding these spoofing techniques at sites like since years ago. People should have been aware of these calls and just ignore them. That's the best bet we can do. Also, keep informing your family about these scammers and telemarketers.

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