Love wasn’t the only thing in the air last month. Whether you had a hot date or showed yourself some personal appreciation, scammers did what they do best: third-wheeling on you and your mobile phone experience. With our February Scam Call Trends report, we dive into the latest scam fads, and how you can ditch the unwanted calls.
Most Common: Vehicle Warranty Scams
Once again, vehicle warranty has topped the ranking among the most common scam calls according to First Orion’s data. Just once, you wish they’d take the hint when you ghost them, right?
Top 10 February Scam Trends
Beyond the overdone car warranty scam calls, medical advisors (Healthcare, Medicare), government “officials” (Social security, IRS, etc.), insurance (health and car), and shopping (Amazon) are ahead in the scam leaderboard. Between January and February, our data shows scam trends have been fluctuating, with the top 10 staying the same.
While vehicle warranty cons stayed in the lead, Medicare and Amazon scam calls managed to almost double over the last month. And it’s always good to keep a lookout for those pesky insurance, social security, and IRS scam calls.
As Call Center scams began in January as an adversary to keep an eye out for, it’s been dropping in relevance lately.
Have you heard any of these calls yet?
“Hello, this is Cameron, and I’m a Medicare advisor with Senior Solutions Group on a recorded line. Can you hear me, okay? Hello? Are you there?”
Health Insurance Scams
“Please stay on the line as we have an urgent message from bureau insurance. Your request has been flagged due to you being in a high-risk county. 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…”
“This is Amazon. This call is to authorize the payment of $1,499 for the recent order of Apple’s MacBook Pro on your Amazon account. If you did not authorize this payment, please press one to speak to our customer support representative.”
IRS, Back Taxes Scams
“Thank you for connecting. I am a virtual assistant for Margaret Smith with the central processing center for federal back tax negotiations. The purpose of her call was to make you aware that the government suspended the tax collection act, and we settle all old tax debts that U.S. Residents may have. This means you won’t need to pay back your past-due taxes since they are non-collectible and ready to be settled. Using our automated approval technology, you are now able to obtain enrollment information based on your current situation.”
Some scams that peaked in 2021 made a comeback this month. Pre-approved loans, arrest warrants, and Microsoft are among the few scam calls popping up seemingly out of nowhere!
Pre-Approved Loan scams
“Congratulations. This message regarding your loan application has been approved by cashier Neon for up to $8,000. If you are still looking for this loan, press one now. I repeat, press one now. Or call us back at 805-391-4387.”
Arrest Warrant Scams
“Hello, this call is from law enforcement units of the Federal Reserve System. We have found suspicious activity from your banking accounts, due to which, there is a legal case being filed under your name, and there is an arrest warrant being issued for the same. To talk to an officer from the law enforcement Unit of the Federal Reserve System, Please press one and hold the line.”
“Hello, this call is from Microsoft Help Center. We encountered a serious issue coming out of your computer. It seems to be someone is trying to hijack your identity and try to steal your social security number and personal information. If it’s not fixed right away, then your computer will become obsolete, and all of your credential information may get compromised. If you are the one who is using Microsoft Windows on your computer, then please press one now to speak with the security team. Please ignore it If we called you by mistake. Thanks.”
New Scams Debuting
Scammers won’t just stop at spoofing their numbers to catch you off-guard. Our reports show that these sneaky callers are leaving voicemails in Spanish to shake up the game. Not only that, but as the weather warms up, vacation scams are starting to defrost.
Scam Calls en Español?
“Hola. Este es un mensaje del servicio de protección de su concepto nario. Recientemente nos dimos cuenta que la garantía extendida de su vehículo se va a vencer. Y le queríamos dar una llamada de cortesía antes de que se vence y se anula la cobra Tura. Si eso pasa, usted estaría responsable por todos los reparos de su bicolor Oprime el número uno. Ahora, si le gustaría extender o reintegrar la garantía de su bicolor oprime el número uno. Ahora oprime el número dos para declinar las.”
Free Vacation Scams
“Hi, this is an exclusive announcement from Costco travel. Your telephone number was pre-selected to receive a complimentary stay in a five-star hotel. For further details, press zero now. If you wish to be placed on the do not call list, press two now.”
People First, Scams Last
Don’t let scammers rain on your parade. We will continue to look out for the latest scam trends each month to help carriers deliver an enhanced calling experience to mobile phone subscribers.
First Orion is a leader in branded communication solutions for mobile carriers and enterprises, tracking scam call data to aid businesses in transforming their brand’s calling experiences. We also offer consumers first-hand protection with our free PrivacyStar app, available for Apple and Android devices.