First the good news. Globally, the overall volume of spam calls declined slightly from Q1 to Q2 2023. The bad news is that the proportion of those spam calls that were fraud increased in 30 out of the 39 countries tracked by Hiya in the Q2 Global Call Threat Report.
Hiya defines spam calls as unwanted calls, both nuisance and fraud, from someone not in an individual’s local address book. Nuisance calls are not illegal, while fraud calls are specifically meant to steal money or personal information.
Here are the countries where the proportion of fraud calls more than doubled quarter-over-quarter, shown in order of the highest increase.
- Puerto Rico
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
This is the third quarter in a row that Hiya has published the Global Call Threat Report, which allows for comparison. The report details the volume and rate of spam calls in over three dozen countries worldwide. Data is based on calls traversing Hiya’s voice security network, which includes Samsung Smart Call-enabled devices and Hiya’s mobile app.
Some of the key findings from the Q2 report from selected countries include:
- Worldwide – Several countries experienced an increase in scams where fraudsters impersonate family members. Usually it’s a child calling a parent or grandparent saying they’re in trouble and they need money sent to them immediately.
- USA – In the US, one out of every four calls from a non-contact was flagged as spam. Popular scams in Q2 included Venmo scams, impersonation of family members, and vehicle accident scams.
- Canada – Canadians get fewer spam calls than Americans do, but they experience a higher percentage of fraud: 6.3% compared to the US’s 1.3%. Impersonation scams are popular, with fraudsters pretending to be loved ones, government officials and Amazon.
- United Kingdom – In the UK, 28% of calls from non-contacts are spam, and of those one in three — 9.3% — are fraud calls. That’s the highest proportion of fraud in Europe. Common scams include Amazon, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and family member impersonators.
- Spain & France – Spain and France have the highest rates of unwanted calls in Europe. Spain’s spam rate is 44.9% and France’s rate is 42.5%. What’s more, Spain has the second-highest rate of fraud in Europe. Bank scams are popular in both Spain and France.
- Germany – Germany is near the middle of the pack of European countries, with a spam rate of 21.6% from non-contact calls. That’s up 3% from the previous quarter. Common scams in Germany include fraudsters impersonating the police and family members.
The Global Call Threat Report includes many more insights on spam and fraud rates in 38 countries. It also reveals the types of spam calls that are the most prominent in select countries. You can download the report below.