“Colorado woman, 93, loses $100,000 in phone scam”
“Fake Kidnapping Phone Scam Sweeping the Nation”
“Phone scam uses caller ID to get your financial information”
“Scam threatens to shut-off of Holyoke Gas & Electric”
Media headlines on incredibly savvy and frightening phone scams were unavoidable this year. Over $350 million is lost in phone scams every year, as estimated by the Consumer Union. Although, others estimate it’s closer to $8.4 billion with $3 billion stolen from senior citizens alone. A look at 2015 shows that the top four fraudulent phone scams of the year were*:
- The IRS scam (false call from the IRS about a tax issue);
- The “Lucky Winner” scam (caller offers a false prize in order to gain financial information);
- The extortion scam (when a false story about a family member or loved one is used for financial gain);
- The tech support scam (when the caller asks for financial information in exchange for false tech support).
- Phishing scam (mainly used to extract passwords and financial information from consumers).
This isn’t just a problem for consumers, businesses are at risk too. Unwanted calls grew by 162% year-over-year and cost SMBs $475 million to phone spam. Approximately 40% of business calls are unwanted, and this number is only going up. With the growth of VoIP and the cost of a call is going to zero, telephony spam is on the rise.
Consider the growth of toll-free traffic pumping which is the abuse of toll-free numbers through automated dialers to generate artificial calls. Our customers have estimated that this type of fraudulent traffic has reached as high as 30% of their total inbound calls resulting in substantial revenue losses. For example, if your company handles 5M calls a month at a cost of about $.025/ per minute and 30% of those are unwanted calls, that’s a loss of ~$75,000 a month.
Every spam and scam we’ve tracked at Whitepages has shown a pattern. The catch is you just need to have the right tuning data and processing capacity to see them. Using Whitepages Pro phone data, businesses can discover insights and take action based on known phone behavior and patterns to block and filter spam calls.
The Whitepages Pro Phone Reputation API allows you to receive an easy to act upon reputation level of 1 – 4. A level 4 phone number has a 97% likelihood of having engaged in spam or scam, giving you confidence to know when to block a naughty number. If you need a finer level of granularity to prevent a targeted attack, you can use the Whitepages Pro Tuning API to identify the patterns specific to your traffic.
Fight this multi-billion dollar problem by filtering unwanted calls and texts in real-time before they harm consumers or businesses. Our proprietary automated algorithms identify 20,000 naughty numbers a day, analyze 2.5 billion phone and text events a month, and process over 1000 numbers per second. Create custom call rerouting, prioritization, blocking, and more by getting your Whitepages Pro Phone Reputation API key.