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Show me the Data: A Look at September 2016

Scam calls. They’re everywhere.

It’s one thing to receive an average of 4.5 spam calls every month, but it’s another thing to see how large the problem really is. Not all of us can see past the end of our mobile, and as such, many are still at risk of scams while thinking, “I would never fall for that”. Yet, it continues to happen. All the time.

This month, Hiya pulled out the newest weapon from our arsenal of spam fighting doodads. The weapon? Knowledge. We’re full of it. But knowledge wasn’t catchy enough, so we called it the ROBOCALL RADAR.

Robocalls are at the heart of phone scams. Scammers can make thousands of calls for a penny. Within those thousands of calls, they can strike gold with even just one victim, thus providing substantial motivation to continue. Note: while robocalls constitute a large chunk of all unwanted calls, in this report, the term “robocall” should be interpreted as all unwanted calls.

Now, let’s get started.


In the month of September…

  • An estimated 984 million robocalls were made to mobile phones
  • 93 million spam calls were detected by Hiya

Top Robocalls in the U.S.

  • IRS Scam
  • Telemarketing
  • Extortion
  • General spam
  • Debt collector
  • Survey
  • Vacation scam
  • Lucky winner scam
  • Tech support scam
  • Charity
  • Political

September’s Scam of the Month: Political

We’re in election season and misery loves company so why not throw another log onto the fire? With political scams rising 614% since January, these are the political scams to look out for (at least until Nov 8).

  • Re-registration or voter verification scams
  • Campaign donation scams
  • Election survey scams

Top U.S. Area Codes (where spam calls originate)

  • 202 (Washington, D.C.)
  • 614 (Columbus, OH)
  • 913 (Kansas City, MO)
  • 210 (San Antonio, TX)
  • 602 (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 214 (Dallas, TX)
  • 954 (Tampa, FL)
  • 720 (Denver, CO)
  • 678 (Atlanta, GA)
  • 323 (Los Angeles, CA)

September’s Robocall Number of the Month (my favorite!)

The scoop: (714) 646-7806 was scamming Americans for 33 days. That’s a long time in the life of a scammer. The caller would pose as “Tiffany” from the National Student Loan Center. Reasons for the call were student loan forgiveness, debt consolidation or an eligibility for a rate decrease (through an Obama program!). Don’t have student debt? They don’t care, they’ll call anyways. In those 33 days, “Tiffany” made 112,496 outbound calls. She’s a persistent one.

Top 10 Spammed Countries

No one’s safe from scam – every country is getting hit hard, but some more than others. Ranked by percentage of spam calls, from within all mobile calls, please meet the Top 10.

  1. 25.08% United States (we’re #1! wait…)
  2. 18.87% Hong Kong
  3. 15.73% Brazil
  4. 13.06% Great Britain
  5. 11.92% Mexico
  6. 11.57% Spain
  7. 8.69% Australia
  8. 8.64% Sweden
  9. 8.26% Italy
  10. 5.61% Hungary

Be sure to check back soon for October’s report! Then, you’ll know all the latest trends on phone spam and can use it as a great discussion piece with your family and friends. You’ll be so cool.


Author Hiya Team