In most phone scams there is a caller and a victim. But with impersonation scams, there are two victims: the individual who gets scammed and the organization or business being impersonated.
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, impersonation scams were the most-reported type of scam last year, with reported losses of $2.6 billion. But what do those scams look like and what types of businesses are being impersonated?
The answer to those questions can be found in Hiya’s 2023 State of the Call Report. The report reveals trends and insights related to phone usage and is based on a survey of more than 13,000 consumers and 2,000 businesses in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, and Spain.
Financial services top the list
In the survey, 63% of consumers said they have received a call from a scammer impersonating a legitimate business or organization — and only 27% of them say it didn’t negatively impact their opinion of the legitimate business or organization.
So, what type of business or organization is impersonated the most? Financial services came in #1, followed by utilities, government, and insurance.
Rounding out the list of most impersonated businesses were, in order, health insurance, retail, home & delivery services, healthcare, and travel/hospitality/transportation.
The effects of impersonation scams
Impersonation scams can have disastrous effects — even if the call recipient doesn’t lose any money or is ultimately not fooled by the imposter. In the survey, 34% of consumers said they are suspicious of any calls coming from the business that was impersonated, and 13% said they had switched brands after receiving an impersonation call. After receiving an impersonation call, 39% of consumers said they perceive the business negatively or have reduced trust in their security procedures.
Many businesses unaware
For businesses, the only thing worse than having their brand impersonated is having it impersonated and not even knowing about it. Unfortunately, that’s the case for many businesses. When businesses were asked the question “Do you know if your business name has been used in scam calls by impersonators?” 38% said they know it’s happening, but even more business, 39%, say they don’t know if it’s happening.
The solution: add identity
Organizations across industries generally understand the problem and want to do something
about it – but they need help. The answer? Adding identity to outbound calls.
Adding identity to outbound calls can be accomplished by using branded caller ID. For example, Hiya Connect enables businesses to display their company name, phone number, logo, and reason for the call on customers’ mobile phones. It also prevents scammers from impersonating the company’s name and phone numbers.
More survey results
The 2023 State of the Call report is packed with trends and insights that are useful to businesses, carriers, device manufacturers, and consumers. The report reveals the top communication channels for consumers and businesses, the rising threat of phone spam and fraud around the world, the financial and lost-time impacts of spam and fraud calls, and how carriers and businesses can help restore trust in the voice call.