SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - October 25, 2016) - Americans are plagued with a phone scam and robocall problem. Mobile phones in the U.S. received an estimated 984 million robocalls in September, according to Hiya, the global leader in phone spam and robocall protection. Hiya today released its new Robocall Radar Report, which reveals data on unwanted calls based on 3.5 billion calls the company scans globally every month. Mobile phone owners in the United States may think they keep getting hit with multiple annoying spam calls and they're not wrong; Hiya identified 475 million unknown calls for its users, who each received an average of 4.5 spam calls in September.
As the price to make a call has decreased to pennies on the dollar, and VOIP systems have become more sophisticated, robocalls and phone scams have reached staggering volumes. According to the FTC, robocall complaints have increased almost 50% since 2015. This sharp increase in phone scams comes at a high cost to consumers. An estimated $40 million has been swindled since October 2013 with the IRS Scam, ranking at #1 on Hiya's Top Scams list.
"When you think of the hundreds of millions of robocalls being made per month, you begin to look into the various types of scams out there and it's eye opening to see how much these scams are costing consumers -- both in time and money," said Alex Algard, CEO of Hiya. "We want to help protect consumers by keeping them up to speed on the types of scams happening, the area codes to be suspicious of and how they can protect themselves. In September alone, Hiya blocked 93 million calls for consumers."
The Robocall Radar Report also reveals top area codes where spam calls originate in the U.S. and the top phone scams in the world in September.
Top U.S. Area Codes Where Spam Calls Originate (September 2016):
- Washington D.C.
- Columbus, OH
- Kansas City, MO
- San Antonio, TX
- Phoenix, AZ
- Dallas, TX
- Tampa, FL
- Denver, CO
- Atlanta, GA
- Los Angeles, CA
Top 5 Scams Affecting Mobile Users in the U.S.
- IRS Scam. The caller pretends to be with the IRS and demands money for unpaid taxes or will trick the recipient into sharing private information.
- Extortion. Scammers will call and threaten the recipient with scare tactics. They demand payment in the form of wire transfer or gift cards.
- Vacation Scam. The caller pretends to be with a travel company and tells the recipient they won a free trip. They proceed to ask for credit card information to cover the cost of taxes or shipping of the tickets.
- Lucky Winner Scam. Scammers claim the recipient has won the lottery or a large sum of money and tricks the recipient into sharing personal information or credit card information to receive the "prize".
- Tech Support Scam. The caller pretends to be with Microsoft and says a virus has been found on the computer. They ask for access to the computer to fix the issue as well as a fee for their work.
This report is available ahead of the upcoming public meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Robocall Strike Force on Wed., Oct. 26 at the FCC Meeting Room in Washington, D.C. The Robocall Strike Force is an industry-led group that has been working for two months to develop comprehensive solutions to prevent, detect, and filter unwanted robocalls.
A PDF version of Hiya's Robocall Radar Report can be found here.
Hiya Robocall Radar Methodology
Hiya analyzes more than 3.5 billion incoming mobile calls per month globally and then leverages its proprietary rule-based algorithm to identify these calls for consumers. Hiya's Robocall Radar is calculated by extrapolating the total number of unwanted robocalls detected among Hiya's user base as compared to the entire U.S. mobile subscriber base. Growth in total call volume and the numbers involved with these calls will vary month to month.
Hiya provides enhanced caller ID products and services designed to make the phone experience better. With a database of more over 1.5 billion unique numbers globally, Hiya leverages its expansive algorithms to identify unknown calls and monitor phone-based threats for consumers and businesses. Hiya analyzes more than 3.5 billion incoming calls per month, and identified more than 475 million unwanted calls to mobile phones in September 2016. Hiya is available as a consumer app on Google Android and iPhone and is integrated into the phone experience for T-Mobile and Samsung Galaxy S7 users worldwide. For more information, please visit www.hiya.com.
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