FTC Warns of “spoofed” emails, text messages, and phone calls that claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Hackers are already impersonating the UN’s health agency in an effort to carry out a variety of scams, from account takeovers to phony donation requests and the spread of malware. The FTC is also warning of “spoofed” emails, text messages, and phone calls that claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Consumers can expect to see a wide range of coronavirus-related “phishing” (fake email), “smishing” (text message phishing), and “vishing” (phone fraud) scams over the coming weeks and months. These scams will prey on our insecurities about how and where the virus is spreading, and they could take several forms — such as fake health agency warnings about infections in your local area, vaccine and treatment offers, medical test results, health insurance cancellation, alerts about critical supply shortages, and more. 

July 10, 2019

IRVINE, Calif., July 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Americans received 4.35 billion robocalls in June, down nearly 17% from the all-time high of 5.23 billion in March, marking the nation’s third consecutive month with reduced robocall volumes. Despite the decrease, the U.S. has received over 29 billion robocalls already this year and averaged over 145 million robocalls per day in June alone, or 1,678 robocalls per second. These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking solution for mobile phones.

“This three-month decline in robocall volumes is a positive development,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “However, we have already exceeded 29 billion robocalls so far this year, which is still nearly 90 calls per person in the U.S.”

July 9, 2019

Major companies have been victimized in recent years by massive data breaches that exposed billions of customers’ personal identifiable information. Fraudsters are now using this stolen personal data to masquerade as trusted companies in a new, more effective scam strategy called Enterprise Spoofing. In a 2018 Scam Report, First Orion reported that nearly half of all mobile calls would be scam in 2019, and while volume remains high–still trending to over 40% on the year–it turns out that scammers are now shifting to a ‘quality over quantity’ approach for the first time using more sophisticated techniques than ever.

To examine this issue in-depth, First Orion analyzed over 40 billion calls made to customers in 2019 (year to date) and commissioned a blind study of 5,000 mobile phone subscribers in the United States who had spoken to scam callers to create the second annual Scam Report for 2019.

In a House Committee hearing on robocalls last week, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle found common ground in their disgust over the current state of affairs.

Joined by four robocall experts representing consumer groups, the telecom industry, a hospital, and an anti-robocall app, lawmakers met to figure out how to tackle the plague of robocalls that has tormented everyone with a mobile phone.

Though the FCC and the private sector have been working on solutions, lawmakers are ready to pick up their swords as well. As Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), who led the hearing put it, robocalls are rendering the phone system obsolete.


September 13, 2018

No, it’s not your imagination: the amount of spam phone calls is getting worse.

According to new data from First Orion, a call protection company, the amount of junk calls will reach 46% by mid-year 2019. And by the end of that year, the amount is projected to finally cross the halfway point, meaning that half of all calls will be spam.

Collecting data from 50 billion calls over the past 18 months, the company was able to shed light on a phenomenon that many people have noticed and lamented: a severe uptick in calls, many of which use “neighborhood spoofing” techniques to entice people to pick up by having a fake caller ID that resembles the caller’s number…

November 15, 2017

The deluge of spam robocalls has reached incredible heights this year, with up to 2.6 billion occurring in the month of May alone, according to the Federal Communications Commission. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down as calls are cheaper than ever to make on a massive scale.

On the other side of the table, a suite of companies, government agencies, and trade groups are all working to solve the horrible scam. And the good news is that these groups have a plan….

October 10, 2017

A representative with the Federal Trade Commission, home of the Do Not Call list, appeared in front of Congress to give a progress report on the fight against horrible spam robocallers — a modern-day battle of good and evil.

Lois Greisman, associate director of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices, told a Senate Special Committee that the problem is intensifying, noting that “consumers are justifiably frustrated.”

“In 2016 the FTC received more than 3.4 million robocall complaints,” she said. “In 2017 the
FTC received more than 3.5 million robocall complaints just between January and August.”…

June 29, 2017

If there’s anything good about ringless voicemails, it’s the fact that they bring people together. These voicemails that simply appear on your phone seem to invite universal hatred.

Indeed, the FCC has gotten almost 2,800 complaints about ringless voicemails in June alone. Among the complaints: lost business due to spam clogging the mailbox, added data costs from checking messages, mailboxes flooded to capacity unable to receive messages from family.

“My phone — bought and paid for by me — exists for my convenience, and not to provide a portal into my life for unsolicited contacts of any nature,” said one Georgian to the FCC…

June 19, 2017

Robots and computers aren’t just taking people’s jobs, they’re also calling everybody and leaving messages about sweet business loan opportunities that you have been chosen for. Recently, these annoying spam calls have been on the rise, leaving people increasingly frustrated.

It’s hard to measure robocall volume directly. Ajit Pai, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, put the figure at 2.4 billion calls each month. If there isn’t great data about the number of unwanted calls which feature a recorded message instead of a live person, a good proxy is the number of consumer complaints…