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Experts see 50% increase in scam phone calls in just six months

By Zakariyya Adaramola, with agency reports
Americans are receiving more robocalls or scam calls than ever before.

But here in Nigeria, electronic fraud is reducing, according to the country’s Central Bank. The apex bank said it recorded a decline in electronic fraud loss value.

A new study from voicemail and call-blocking services firm YouMail found that robocalls have increased 50 percent between the period of February to July, according to NBC News.

It comes as many Silicon Valley giants are doubling down on developing technology that can thwart robocallers from reaching you.

Robocalls are automated calls that typically use a recorded message to sell a service or push an offer on unsuspecting users.

Some are harmless, such as appointment reminders, but others have far more nefarious consequences.

For example, earlier this year, 30 consumers in New York City were scammed out of $3 million by tricksters who pretended to be from the Chinese consulate and demanded money as ransom, NBC noted.

In a separate study, YouMail found that there were 4.4 billion received in the US last month, which is the ‘highest number of monthly robocalls recorded’ since the firm began tracking them in 2015.

It also marks a 83.9 percent increase in robocall volume since the same period last year.

Scams accounted for about 40 percent of the 4.4 billion robocalls made during September.

The top five scams were health and health insurance scams at No. 1, followed by easy money scams in second place, then interest rate scams, student loan scams and search listing scams, respectively. Some areas of the US were more likely to receive robocalls.

Atlanta, Georgia received the most robocalls by volume, with residents getting about 68.9 robocalls per person in September, NBC said.

New York City saw about 31 robocalls per person during the month.

The total volume nationwide equates to some 147 million robocalls placed every day during September, YouMail noted.

‘Our huge national robocalling problem is getting bigger, despite the efforts of regulators and carriers,’ YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said in a statement.

‘To minimize the damage from this epidemic, we need everyone to continue not answering unknown numbers, use call blocking apps like ours, and make sure they do their homework before calling numbers back.’

 

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