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Phone scams cost Americans $8.6 billion in 2013

Truecaller found that 17.6 million were scammed out of $8.6 billion.
August 28, 2014

BGR alerts us to results by Truecaller, a mobile phone community, that found that around 17.6 million Americans were scammed out of approximately $8.6 billion in 2013.

“$8.6 billion lost per year through U.S. phone fraud is simply a staggering number and shows the need for greater vigilance among Americans when it comes to protecting themselves from scam artists operating over the phone,” Truecaller CEO Alan Mamedi is quoted in a press release as having stated. “We think the actual dollar number lost may be even higher due to factors like unreported fraud and unchecked phone bills even in instances when owners received a spam call.” – BGR

Around 50% of people polled stated that they had been victims of a scam that had originated from a cell phone. 64% of respondents said they never answer calls from unknown numbers and 31% said they check unknown numbers online before answering a call.

In roughly 3 out of 4 cases, a male was a victim of a phone scam. The study also showed that of those who had checked their phone bills, 37 percent found fraudulent charges.

Suspicious calls can include instances where scammers pretend to be IRS agents or debt collectors, callers who spoof your own phone number calling you, and those who initiate fraud via “one-ring scams,” where consumers are tricked into dialing numbers that automatically start billing them for every minute they remain on the phone. – BGR