I believe we can all agree that the endless afflict of robo-calls has actually spiraled out of control. But the folks at the public data directory site BeenVerified desired to quantify precisely how much worse this attack has gotten. They gathered data from more than 200,000 spam call reports from throughout the country, and crunched the numbers to see what they could discover.
And while the results aren’t actually surprising, per se, they’re definitely harrowing.
The frequency of Social Security spam calls has increased 23 times, from 0.4%of all spam hires 2018, to 9.5%in 2019.
BeenVerified does acknowledge that their data does not necessarily show a total photo. They in fact believe that things may be worse. “The Spam Problem Display is a canary in the coal mine showing broad spam and robocall topic patterns,” stated representative Justin Lavelle. “As the data is self-reported, the total varieties of problems connected to each of these spam call subjects are likely higher.”
The results from the BeenVerified Spam Call Complaint Screen mirror more comprehensive trends, as more than 76,000 Social Security rip-off calls were reported to the Federal Trade Commission in the 12- month period ending in March 2019, with losses amounting to $19 million. Losses related to Internal Revenue Service scams peaked at $17 million for the 12 months ending in September 2016, the FTC reports.
Less than 3.5%of Social Security rip-off problems to the FTC resulted in lost cash, however when victims take the bait, the losses are relatively high. The median reported loss was $1,500 in 2018, more than four times higher than losses from all other frauds, the FTC reports.
The bright side– inasmuch as there is any– is that those annoying faux-IRS phone calls are on the decrease. So you won’t have to handle as numerous robo-voicemails informing you that the IRS is comin’ for ya.
The problem is, obviously, that this issue does not look like it’s going away any time soon. So you need to probably keep disregarding, obstructing, and reporting every incoming telephone call you receive from a number you don’t understand. And you must most likely pass that guidance to your moms and dads and grandparents and anyone else in your life who might not be too smart on about infosec.
Likewise, Father, if you’re reading this– stop answering the phone for funsies “simply to fuck with them.” You’re still offering them data, and audio samples they can use and control. And frankly, they don’t really care if you fuck with them anyway, ’cause their automatic system simply scammed among those cousins you fulfilled on AncestryDNA anyway.
How to Block Robocalls and Spam Calls[Lance Whitney/PC Mag]
Image through Sarah NW/Flickr
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