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MWC: Robocall spam booms

Hiya estimates global spam calls grew 325% to 85 billion worldwide.

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The first Global Robocall Radar Report, released by Hiya at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, estimates that global spam calls grew 325% to 85 billion worldwide.

The data, based on an analysis of more than 12 billion calls per month worldwide, concluded that, while unwanted calls are prevalent in the United States, they are also growing rapidly at a global level.

Hiya’s Global Robocall Radar found that Spain, the UK, Italy, France, Argentina and the United States top the list of countries hit the hardest by nuisance and fraudulent calls.

“As spam calls continue to skyrocket globally, the demand for protection from unwanted phone calls has increased drastically,” said Alex Algard, CEO of Hiya. “By combining industry-leading call spam detection with a solution that ensures calls from legitimate businesses are properly identified, it’s our mission to make sure everyone across the world can confidently answer their phone again.”

With nearly 60 million monthly active users worldwide, Hiya protects consumers from unwanted calls in every country in the world. Global partnerships with carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and OEMs like Samsung have helped to elevate Hiya’s leadership position for identifying nuisance and fraudulent calls. In 2018 alone, Hiya identified more than 1.3 billion calls as spam, blocking more than 425 million of them.

Top 10 Countries With the Biggest Phone Spam Problem

For the top 10 countries with the biggest spam problem, below is a breakdown of the percentage of incoming calls that are not “saved to contacts” and are identified as spam (Spam Rate), in addition to the average number of monthly spam calls per user.

1). Spain:

  • Spam Rate: 24%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 9

2). UK:

  • Spam Rate: 22%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 7

3). Italy:

  • Spam Rate: 21%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 6

4). France:

  • Spam Rate: 20%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 7

5). Argentina:

  • Spam Rate: 10%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 3

6). United States: 

  • Spam Rate: 10%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 7

7). Mexico:

  • Spam Rate: 9%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 6

8). Brazil:

  • Spam Rate: 9%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 8

9). Chile:

  • Spam Rate: 9%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 4

10). Australia:

  • Spam Rate: 6%
  • Monthly Spam Calls Per User: 2

Most Prevalent Spam “Campaigns” Worldwide:

  • Bank Account Scam: Callers pretend to be an official representative of the bank and request sensitive information or items which will allow them to access the victim’s bank account.
  • Extortion/Kidnapping: These scammers call random phone numbers and demand payment for the return of a “kidnapped” family member or friend.
  • Credit Card Scam: Thieves will trick victims out of their personal information. They might call, posing as their bank, to “assist” while phishing for card details. Random scammers might even call hotel rooms acting as the front desk to “confirm” credit card details.
  • Wangiri Scam (“One Ring”): For years, the Wangiri scam, also known as the ‘One-Ring Scam,’ has been preying on victims and enticing them to call back international numbers. The victim in this case does not realize that they’re being charged for premium rates.
  • Neighbor Scam: Phone fraudsters use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software to mimic (also known as spoofing) the first few digits of a user’s phone number to trick consumers into thinking a nearby friend or business is calling.

Hiya analyzes more than 12 billion mobile calls per month globally and then leverages its proprietary rule-based algorithm to identify these calls for consumers. Hiya’s Global Robocall Radar is calculated by extrapolating the total number of unwanted robocalls detected among Hiya’s user base as compared to the entire global population of mobile subscribers.

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