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Summer of Scams: May Scam Call Trends

May Scam Call Trends; Woman outside wearing headphones looks at cell phone

The scorching weather wasn’t the only thing burning in May. Scam calls continue to turn up the heat, month after month, changing slightly to catch consumers off guard. With our May Scam Call Trends report, we’ve got you covered, with SPF Scam tips.

While the April scam trends revealed a new scam atop the leaderboard, an old “friend” has made a return. Who could that be, you ask?

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?

No surprise here. It’s Vehicle Warranty scams, once again at the top of the scam trend list.

This scam alone made up 17% of the monthly call volume, skyrocketing in growth by 170%!

With such a renowned scam tactic, there are always key phrases to look out for:

  • Coverage lapsing
  • Final courtesy call
  • Reinstate car warranty
  • Maintenance required
  • Last opportunity to extend
  • Service contract ending

As always, there’s a certain script these bad actors like to stick to. Heard this?

“Hi, this is David from the vehicle service. We have not received a reply to the notice you received in the mail regarding your vehicle service contract. These notices inform you that your vehicle’s coverage may have lapsed. And you’re responsible for all maintenance required on your vehicle. We’re offering you one last opportunity to extend or renew your vehicle’s coverage. To go over your options, press one.”

Of course you have. It’s the same script, over and over again, with small tweaks – like spoofing and rotating numbers – to attempt to fly under the radar.

May Scam trends chart

This House is Not a Scam

While housing-related scams are at the bottom of the trending list, don’t count them out! Even though April saw a low call volume from these scams, they shot up shortly after last month.

With a surging growth of over 300%, you’ll want to look out for this tactic in the future as the housing market heats up between May and September

“Hello, This is a call from American home sales and lease purchase regarding your rental agreement. Your rental agreement has expired, Please call American home sales and lease purchase today. Or please visit our store for further details. Thank you.”

Money on the Mind

In May, again we’ve seen financial scams rear their heads toward consumers. Over the last month, financial scams have risen by over 50%.

Sure, all scams damage people financially, but these specific scammers are targeting credit card repair, debt reduction, as well as loan applications. They’re hitting hard, trying to threaten consumers into submission.

“Hello, please listen to this important message. We have been trying to reach you regarding the Financial hardship loan program. You are approved for a $34,000 financial hardship loan. This loan can be funded by tomorrow. Please press 1 to finalize your application or press 9 to be removed from our list.”

One thing to remember, debt collection calls are typically from actual companies, in the collections business.

Cash or Card: Debit Card Scams

Once again, scammers are using the “fill-in-the-blank” system when calling potential victims, often rotating banks and “acting” to fool consumers.

“Hello. This is a message from *Insert Bank Here*. We regret to inform you that your debit card has been locked. To reactivate it, please press one now. And you will be transferred to our security department.”

This rise in financial scams could be the reason why 54% of people in our Financial Services Customer Communications Report said they prefer a phone call for scam-related issues.

Amazon… er, Paypal scams

These calls sound a lot like the Amazon scam tactics. As Amazon scams are slow in their growth, scammers are turning to other alternatives, such as PayPal as their new subject. Both of these trends are made to cause consumer concern and get quick reactions from victims.

“Hi, this call is from PayPal. We noticed an unusual login activity from three different devices and locations. You don’t usually use multiple transactions of the amount, $475 for Cryptocurrency has been processed. And it will be deducted from your account. If you haven’t authorized this transaction, then press one to talk to our representatives.”

Vacation scams

Free vacations can be too good to be true. In this case, they most likely are! Especially with vacation season upon us, scammers are taking advantage and hitting weak points of those hoping to enjoy the summer however they can.

Somewhat similar to the debit card scam, the script rotates hotels and/or cruise lines to trick consumers. A keyword to look out for? Exclusive.

“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.”


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.

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