April showers bring May flowers, but scammers are downpouring with their latest call trends. With our April Scam Call Trends Report, we’ll keep you safe and dry from the incoming scam storm.
In a shocking turn of events, Vehicle Warranty scams have finally been dethroned! For several months, vehicle warranty scammers terrorized people. Now, a “new” scam has taken its place.
New Scams on Top
Health insurance scams are taking over, followed closely by Medicare-related scams! Both trends surged in April, making up 20% of the monthly call volume.
We’ve found a few scam scripts that you should look out for:
“Please stay on the line as we have an urgent message from bureau insurance. Your request was flagged due to you being in a high-risk county as unemployment rates are on the rise in your zip code. Press one now to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period, into a major medical health insurance plan due to the high unemployment rates in your county.”
“Hi, this is Lisa from coverage choice on a recorded line. I’m following up with a request. I understand that you might be looking into some Medicare programs that could decrease your healthcare costs. Is that correct? Press one for yes, two for no, or three to opt-out.”
We Saw the Signs, and it Opened Up Our Eyes
Top scams tend to fluctuate month to month, but there are some consistencies people can pick out of the crowd.
Some phrases scammers really like using:
- Urgent message
- Special enrollment
- Decrease costs
- Press one (or any number/button)
Overall, if anyone calls asking you to press a button – whether to answer their questions or unsubscribe from anything – run for the hills!
Money, Money, Money
Financial scams are getting very clever lately, using a harder-to-track method to catch people off guard.
With these types of scams, fraudsters use a “fill-in-the-blank” system when calling. The scammers use a random bank in their prewritten script, hoping to match the consumer with their specific bank provider.
Typically, a set of canned messages is used – the same message over and over again. The only thing that changes is the bank name.
“Hello. This is a message from PNC Bank (or Regions Bank). We regret to inform you that your debit card is locked. To reactivate it, please press one now. And you will be transferred to our security department.”
Much like financial scams, delivery scammers are now turning to international delivery as a tactic.
“This is the last voice notification of UPS International Express. You have an important express but no express delivery. For details, press three to be served by manual customer service UPS.”
Scams and Legality
“Hi, this is Jennifer from border protection and homeland authority. This call is to inform you that a package was captured and confiscated, which is under your name. For security purposes press one and you will be connected to the concerned authorities.”
These scams made up less than 1% of April’s scam trends, but growth is expected as loan payments continue to be deferred.
“Please listen to this important message. This is our final attempt to reach you regarding your student loan. As of Friday, your student loan was flagged for full forgiveness. If you would like to be removed from this list, press nine. If you would like to finalize your enrollment, press one.”
Scams on the Housing Market
Scams related to selling property have become one of the most difficult to catch lately. Because of their low call volume, property scams slip by undetected. Recently, scammers have started to spoof neighborhood phone numbers to seem more authentic to potential victims, like telemarketers.
“This is Robert calling in regards to some vacant land you own. I’m interested in making a cash offer on the property with no out-of-pocket expense to you. This is not a sales call. If you have any interest in discussing this further with me, please press one. Now, If you would like to be removed and not called again, press nine. Again, if you would like to discuss selling, please press one now. Thank you.”
We See Scams in Your Future
In the next few months, expect increased scam calls related to these topics:
- Amazon deliveries
- Vehicle warranties
- Vacation-related scams
- Job searches
- Student loans
First Orion, a leading solutions provider for mobile carriers and enterprises, tracks scam call data to help us transform the mobile communications experience. We also protect consumers with our free PrivacyStar app, available for Apple and Android devices.