Scammers Spread Holiday Fear

The holidays are upon us which for many of us means the season of giving! Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for scammers who are always in the season of taking as they continue to use robocalls and robotexts to run their scams on unsuspecting victims. However, do not fear as we have provided a rundown below of some of the top scams to look out for this holiday season.

‘Tis the Season of Giving

Many people like to volunteer and donate cash or goods during the holiday season. Scammers take advantage of this by using a legitimate charity’s name to ask for fake donations. More worryingly, they may even spoof a charities phone number. Spoofing is when someone makes calls under someone else’s phone number. This method often makes the person answering believe they are being called by a legitimate organization and is a way to easily deceive victims of robocall scams.

Scammers may even go so far as to create fake charities. They will call with believable pitches about their cause and present enticements such as end-of-the-year tax write offs. The best way to avoid charity scams is to donate directly to organizations you know and can trust. You can verify this through their official website or contacting them directly through the telephone number on their website. There are also government websites to verify the legitimacy of non-profit organizations such as the IRS.

You’ve Got Mail

Between Black Friday deals and gift giving, online shopping is especially popular during the holiday season. And as a result, we see many scams based around packages and mail. One example of this is a fake package delivery scam. In this case, the victim receives a text message claiming a package for them is pending pickup with a link. They often will pose as a known carrier such as Amazon or USPS. The link will take the targeted victim to a website that asks them to pay the shipping. This is all a scam but could be convincing for someone who is anxiously awaiting a package. It is important to never click on links from texts before verifying the sender.

Amazon Refund Trick

There are many scams where the fraudster poses as Amazon. A common one involves fraudsters impersonating an Amazon sales representative who convinces their target victim to give them remote access to their account so they can issue a refund. This allows the scammer to gain access to credit card numbers and other personal information. Amazon has stated that any calls from a customer would be an expected one. This scam could also be run under the guise of other retailers so you should be wary of any unexpected calls from a business and never give personal information over the phone.

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, you can report it to your local police, state Attorney General’s office and the FTC.

Call-blocking apps, including those powered by TNS Call Guardian®, are also a great resource for reporting and blocking unwanted robocalls. Stay vigilant and share information about scams with others.

Call Guardian is a registered trademark of Transaction Network Services, Inc.

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Unwanted Calls Nationwide Snapshot

 

 

TNS estimates that more than 71.5 billion unwanted  calls were made in the last 12 months representing an 11% decrease over the last 12 months versus the previous 12 months.  Unwanted calls increased 2% from October to November at 6.3B.  This represents an 7% decrease from November 2021 to November 2022.

Unwanted calls are comprised of nuisance calls and high-risk calls. The severity of harm of nuisance calls are moderate. The severity of harm for high-risk calls is deemed as a major invasion of privacy that can cause emotional distress.

 

TNS Heatmap of Originating Unwanted Calls

Top 10 Area Codes for Generating Unwanted Calls – Nov 2022

Top 10 Area Codes for Generating Unwanted Calls – Oct 2022

Top 10 Area Codes for Generating Unwanted Calls – Oct 2021

Rank

NPA

Area

Total

1

586

MI

10,740,941

2

520

AZ

8,941,584

3

805

CA

8,891,712

4

480

AZ

8,773,867

5

209

CA

8,076,741

6

470

GA

7,164,050

7

602

AZ

7,005,915

8

336

NC

6,724,482

9

910

NC

6,596,712

10

720

CO

6,443,675

Rank

NPA

Area

Total

1

480

AZ

10,129,603

2

520

AZ

9,778,675

3

586

MI

9,130,578

4

805

CA

8,511,774

5

202

DC

7,444,601

6

470

GA

6,988,880

7

720

CO

6,981,844

8

928

AZ

6,874,120

9

602

AZ

6,789,026

10

336

NC

6,410,162

Rank

NPA

Area

Total

1

209

CA

8,852,382

2

520

AZ

8,564,270

3

470

GA

7,846,748

4

650

CA

7,528,523

5

208

ID

7,388,892

6

213

CA

6,864,368

7

720

CO

6,356,920

8

252

NC

5,960,041

9

336

NC

5,908,837

10

423

TN

5,895,732

TNS Unwanted Call Indices

TNS Calling Trust Index – Last 12 Months

TNS Complaint Index – Last 12 Months

 

The TNS Calling Trust Index is a measure of the crowd-source feedback for the unwanted calls that TNS receives in relation to the total number of calls to a subscriber. The index gives an indication of the consumer trust in voice calling and pulls data from our robocall protection platform TNS Call Guardian®.

The TNS Complaint Index is a measure of the FCC complaints for the Do-Not-Call List in relation to the total number of unwanted calls seen by TNS. The index gives an indication to how many consumers are reporting complaints to the FCC relative to the number of unwanted robocalls they receive.

Take Action for Robocall Protection, go to: ReportARobocall.com

TNS Call Guardian uses real-time call events combined with crowd-sourced data to create accurate and comprehensive reputation profiles differentiating legitimate users from abusive, fraudulent and unlawful ones. Reporting robocall incidents adds important data making our solutions more robust.

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