Move over, Internal Revenue Service. Criminals now prefer the Social Security Administration as their cover agency when they try to swindle Americans over the phone.
Most of us have been trained to be wary of clicking on links and attachments that arrive in emails unexpected, but it’s easy to forget scam artists are constantly dreaming up innovations that put a new shine on old-fashioned telephone-based phishing scams.
The problem of unsolicited robocalls has gotten so bad that many people now refuse to pick up calls from numbers they don't know. It's become a defense of last resort in an increasingly frustrating situation that's led to nearly 25 million Americans becoming victims of fraud. If only it were that simple to solve.
You’re not imagining it: Scammers are increasingly blowing up your phone.
First Orion, an Arkansas company that provides caller ID and call blocking services, found that the volume of mobile scam calls has risen from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to 29.2% in 2018. That number is likely to reach 44.6% by early 2019.
Voice fraud rates climbed at more than 350% since 2013 across several industries, including banking. Various causes share the blame including new voice tech, and the rise in significant data breaches.
The recent bust of a large fraud and money laundering conspiracy highlights one key takeaway for you: Be wary of who is on the other end of your phone line — particularly if they claim to be the IRS.
With stiff sentences for 21 conspirators last week in the United States and a round of indictments in India, the Justice Department says it has broken up what appeared to be the nation’s first large-scale, multinational telephone fraud operation.
Why can’t the government catch these guys? That was the sentiment echoed in my inbox over and over as those Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation phone scams exploded. It felt painfully slow, but arrests were finally made in the United States and India. This week, many of those scammers were sentenced for their crimes.
It may be summer, but the bad guys aren’t taking a vacation. The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, has issued a warning about an ongoing phone scam from thieves pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Two dozen people have been sentenced for aiding in a massive call center scheme centered in India that tricked vulnerable people in the U.S. into giving up hundreds of millions of dollars, culminating what Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised as “first-ever” multi-jurisdiction takedown of India’s “call center scam industry.”
Robocalls have been on the rise in the United States: An estimated 4.1 billion robocalls were made nationwide in June alone, according to data compiled by YouMail, an app that aims to prevent robocalls by playing an out-of-service message from your phone. Since February this year, the number of robocalls made to phone users across the country has risen more than 40 percent, it says.
The plague of robocalls is getting worse. Consumers received more than 18 billion in 2017, a 75 percent increase from the year before. They are the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It receives more than 200,000 protests a year, and robocalls make up roughly 60 percent of all complaints to the FCC.
If you live in Washington, D.C., or another U.S. metropolitan area, you may have noticed that you’re on the receiving end of a barrage of Chinese-language robo-calls. The calls bring alarming news, and federal regulators and law-enforcement agencies say the automated messages are part of a nationwide scam targeting Chinese communities in the United States.
Rebecca Schulte, 24, was at her apartment in West Hollywood, California, when she received a call from a familiar area code. She picked up.
Robocall scams have found new prey. The latest aim at the Chinese immigrant population by preying on their fears about their status in the U.S.
English speakers who get the calls have no idea what's being said. But Mandarin speakers who answer would hear news that their immigration status may be in jeopardy.
Income tax filing season brings an increase in activity by would-be thieves using phone calls and email to try to get money out of taxpayers. That warning comes from the IRS. Phone scams often involve someone calling a taxpayer, telling them they owe taxes and could be arrested if they don't pay.
Los Angeles police arrested a 25-year-old man in a suspected "swatting" hoax 911 call in Kansas that ended in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man.
OK, this had to happen. It’s not a surprise. It’s just a fact of life. We live in a world of scammers, and when there is a crisis, for them, here’s opportunity.
As if an Equifax data breach affecting more than 140 million customers wasn't unsettling enough, consumers must be doubly vigilant following news of the massive mishap, experts warn. Even if you were wise enough to put an immediate fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit files, con artists are likely to go into hyperdrive finding new ways to take advantage of the hack and the publicity surrounding it.
If you’ve been getting inundated with incoming phone calls that look a lot like your own number, you’re not alone.