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Global Call Threat Report: the world is drowning in spam calls

The world is drowning in spam calls. That seems to be the overarching contention of the recently-published Global Call Threat Report from Hiya.


The report looks at phone spam rates in 38 countries around the world and is based on a representative sample of calls observed by Hiya during Q4 of 2022. For each country, the report calls out: 

  • Spam rate (all unwanted calls from non-contacts)
  • Fraud rate (malicious calls intended to steal money or private information)
  • Nuisance rate (calls that are annoying but not illegal)


The spam flag rate in the report represents calls that Hiya has identified and flagged as either fraud or nuisance. Spam ratios represent the number of unwanted calls from “non-contacts”: calls placed from numbers that are not in an individual’s local address book.


Download the Global Call Threat Report

Key findings from the report

During Q4 of 2022, Hiya flagged more spam calls than ever before. In fact, during the week of Oct. 17-22, 2022 the number of spam calls flagged by Hiya reached an all-time high of 655 million! The increase is attributed to both the growing volume of calls that Hiya observes, and increasingly more accurate spam detection. Here are some of the key findings from selected countries:


USA – The #1 phone scam in the US for the past two years, the auto warranty scam, took a steep dive in 2022 and dropped from first place. Still, one of every three incoming calls from a non-contact was flagged as spam.


Canada – Canadians get fewer spam calls than Americans, but they are experiencing a higher percentage of fraud calls — 15 times higher in fact. Impersonation scams are popular, such as those that impersonate a government official or Amazon.  


United Kingdom – The UK has the highest proportion of fraud calls in Europe. In the UK, 28% of calls are spam and 13% — nearly half —  are fraud calls. The soaring cost of living has led to an increase in energy-rated scams. 


Spain & France – In Spain, 43.9% of the calls received from non-contacts are spam, and France is not far behind at 43.0%. Those are the highest spam rates in Europe. What’s more, Spain has the second-highest proportion of fraud calls of any European country.


Germany – Germany is #8 in Europe for spam with a spam rate of 21.21% of non-contact calls. In the second half of 2022, Germany also saw a spike in Europol scam calls.

Comparing spam rates worldwide

The Global Call Threat Report compares spam rates in three regions of the world: the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. This allows readers to see how spam rates in their country compared to those in the same region and other parts of the world. Below are stats showing countries with the five highest spam rates in each region.


The Americas


In the United States, more than one in every three calls (34.9%) from a non-contact is an unwanted call. The good news, however, is that only about 1% of those unwanted calls are reported as fraud. Canada has a lower overall spam rate (20.9%), but a higher percentage of those calls are reported as fraud: nearly 6%.


The highest phone spam rates in the world are in South America. Argentina leads the pack with a 52% spam rate! Coming in second is Chile, with a 48% spam rate, and the third is Brazil with a 44.9% spam rate.



Spam Rate














As mentioned above, Spain and France have the highest spam rates in Europe. The UK’s spam rate comes in #6, but it tops the list with the highest percentage of fraud in Europe. Nearly half of the unwanted calls in the UK are not just annoying, but they are intent on stealing money or information. 


Spam Rate














Although Argentina leads the world with a 52% spam rate, Indonesia is close behind with a 51.5% spam rate. Imagine living in a country where more than half of the incoming calls are unwanted calls.


Hong Kong also has an exceptionally high spam rate, 48%, and has the highest percentage of fraud calls in the Asia-Pacific region. Ten percent of the unwanted calls in Hong Kong are fraud calls. 



Spam Rate



Hong Kong








How to stop spam calls

Consumers worldwide do not have to put up with a constant bombardment of spam calls. Fortunately, there is technology that can help people fight back against spammers and scammers. 


Carriers can add Hiya Protect, a complete call protection solution that enables carriers to protect their subscribers by blocking and labeling spam calls, and helping them identify wanted calls. 


With Hiya Connect, enterprises can improve customer engagement and loyalty while protecting their customers from deceitful interactions and their brand reputation from inaccurate spam labeling. Get a free Reputation Analysis report to see if your customers are at risk.


Individuals can check with their phone carrier to see if it offers any spam/scam-blocking capabilities. If not, ask your carrier to consider adding Hiya Protect. 


Download the Global Call Threat Report

Author Hiya Team