Spain has the worst phone spam problem in Europe. Of the 20 European countries in which Hiya gathers spam data, Spain came in #1 with a 43.9% spam rate in the fourth quarter of 2022.
What’s driving all the phone spam? Telemarketing calls. And the biggest offenders are utility companies and mobile phone service providers.
That’s according to Spaniards who report spam calls to Hiya via their Samsung Smart Call-enabled device and the Hiya mobile app.
In Spain, the two most frequently reported unwanted calls are calls from mobile phone providers and utility companies.
Utility companies want users to switch providers
Citizens of Spain can choose the utility company they want to use, so the companies use telemarketing to get customers to switch providers. The utility companies most frequently mentioned in Hiya’s user reports are Iberdrola and Endesa, two of Spain’s largest utility companies.
Most of the unwanted calls from utilities are reported as nuisance or telemarketing, but some are reported as fraud. In fact, there have been articles in the Spanish media about phone scammers impersonating Iberdrola. With this scam, the imposter says that Iberdrola is offering a social bonus in which they will credit 50 euros to each account. To do so, they will need bank account information to deposit the funds. If the recipient discloses their bank account information, the criminals can then withdraw money from the account.
There are also news reports of scammers impersonating Endesa. Several hotel operators in Spain’s Canary Islands have received calls claiming to be from Endesa, threatening to shut off power if they don’t immediately pay an overdue electricity bill. Here are just two examples of what users are reporting:
“They say they are calling from Endesa and tell you they have a cheaper rate and ask you for your data over the phone.”
“They have tried to cheat me several times by pretending to be Iberdrola”
Incessant calls from mobile phone companies
Sales calls from mobile phone providers are also annoying people in Spain. Every week, Hiya receives more than a thousand reports of unwanted calls selling mobile phone services. Reports mention a variety of mobile phone providers operating in Spain. Here’s what users are saying:
“They call many times from different numbers.”
“They call every day several times, up to 10 times.”
“They told me that the price of my rate was going to rise. I hung up and called my phone company and confirmed that it was a fraud.”
How to fight back against spam calls
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. Hiya Protect recently added a new layer of protection, Personal AI, which personalizes call protection to individual subscribers so they receive the calls that are important to them and are protected from targeted attacks.
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.