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Spooky Scams – October 2021 Scam Trends

October Scam Trends - Older woman sitting on bench, reading mobile phone

You can run, but you can’t hide! Phone scammers continue to spook mobile phone subscribers. From vehicle warranty calls to phony calls from Amazon, here are the trending scams for October.

October Scam Calls

Vehicle Warranty Scams

Vehicle warranty scams remain the most common type of scam calls according to First Orion data (same as September). These calls account for about half of the total scam calls we’ve tagged.

Other Top Scam Trends

Beyond vehicle warranty scams, government imposters (Social Security, IRS, etc.), insurance (health and car), entertainment, and shopping (Amazon) scams have become a nuisance.

vehicle warranty scams graph

Have you recently received a scam call that sounds like this?

Social Security Scams

“This call is from the Department of Social Security Administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspended your social security number because we found some suspicious activity. So if you want to know about this case, just press one. Thank you.”

IRS Scams

“Please listen carefully. After the election, the government suspended the Tax Collection Act. The IRS has been forced to settle all old tax steps that U.S. residents may have. This means you do not need to pay back your past due taxes as they are now non-collectible and ready to be settled. Press five on your phone now if you’ve received your complete settlement letter from the IRS. Press seven if you’ve not received your settlement letter as of yet. Thank you.”

Amazon Scams

“Hi, this is Alexia from Amazon customer service. I’m calling about your Amazon Prime account. I wanted to inform you that your Amazon Prime account has been compromised. There is an order for iPhone 11 Pro worth $799, for which the card attached with Amazon has been charged. But we placed hold on it. That order seemed to be fraudulent. If you did not place the order and want to refund back, please press one to talk to Amazon fraud department. Thank you.”

The rise in Amazon scams has led the FTC to spotlight the impersonators; according to the article, senior citizens have been disproportionately targeted and the average loss is $1,500 for this demographic.

Other Trending Scams

Student Loans

Student loan scams continue to plague mobile subscribers. You may have received a call that sounds like this:

Hello, this message is for anyone who has a federal student loan. The new administration has released immediate forgiveness programs. Please press one if you are interested in this program, or press nine to decline this offer.”

Scam Calls in the U.K.

Citizens in the United Kingdom have received a barrage of phone calls that originate from foreign numbers – a variation of neighborhood spoofing. This past summer, 45 million cell phone users in the U.K. received a scam call. Learn more here.


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