A shocking number of phone calls are just spam

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A shocking number of phone calls are just spam that cost both businesses and consumers time and money, new research has claimed. 

A report from spam call blocker company, Hiya analyzing more than 243 billion phone calls that were taken in 2022 by thousands of consumers and companies, found that of that number, 10% were either spam or fraud. 

In the US alone, spam makes up more than a third (35%) of all calls, while fraud took up just .9%. The UK fared somewhat better in terms of spam calls (28%) but fraud was much more pronounced (13%). France suffered the most spam calls at 43%.

Losing money

Spam and fraud calls cost people and businesses time and money, the report finds. In the US, consumers lost an average of $431.26 to such calls last year. Canadians lost the most money - $472.87, on average. 

When it comes to time, US consumers lost on average 31.87 minutes on spam and fraud calls, followed by Span (27.44 minutes), Canada (27.21 minutes), France (27.04 minutes), and the UK (23.34 minutes). Germany rounds off the list with 22.47 minutes.

To tackle the problem of spammy and fraudulent calls, the researchers suggest, telecoms could make sure the numbers are identified. 

Almost all consumers (87%) think unidentified numbers may be fraudulent, with a third of consumers saying spoofed and impersonated call made them suspicious of any calls coming from that business. In that vein,63% of carriers said their investment in voice security and call protection will increase this year. 

“Spam calls – including both illegal fraud calls as well as legal nuisance calls – are increasing in frequency,” said Kush Parikh, Hiya President. “Unwanted calls erode consumer trust in their favorite communication tool – the phone – and therefore make it harder for legitimate, trusted businesses to reach them by phone. As we examined in this report, that has very real consequences for sales, customer experience and other critical areas.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.