Americans lost nearly $30 billion to phone scammers last year

Americans lost nearly $30 billion to phone scammers last year
Robocall rates are at second-highest rate in recorded history

Phone scammers targeting US residents of all ages are on the rise, and got away with nearly $30 billion in stolen funds last year as part of illicit schemes.

A report from Truecaller found that around a third of Americans reported falling victim to a phone scam, with nearly one in five being successfully targeted more than once.

Nearly one in four have fallen victim in the past 12 måneder, with experts suggesting that the problem may have accelerated with the onslaught of Covid-19.

Indeed, as many as three in five Americans say they received a scam call or text message related to the Covid-19 crisis, according to Truecaller.

“While there was a small reduction in the number of victims who lost money to a robocall scam in the past 12 måneder, it continues to be a big problem. Three in five Americans (60.0%) have admitted to losing money as the direct result of a robocall,” reads the report’s summary.

Men of every age demographic were more likely to be successfully scammed, according to the site’s data. Younger adults, ages 18-44, were also more likely to be taken advantage of, defying stereotypes about many phone fraud schemes.

Spam calls in general are also on the rise, according to Truecaller’s data, with Americans reporting an average of 30 over the last month, up from every year in the past half-decade other than 2019. Spam texts are also on the rise, and were counted at the highest number in history.

The CEO of robocall-blocking software YouMail told the AARP in a statement in February that robocalls decreased initially during the pandemic, but quickly recovered.

When the pandemic hit about a year ago, we saw the first major drop in robocalls because call centers were closed, but now robocalls are exploding,” Alex Quilici said.

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