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Press Release: Survey Shows Phone Scammers Getting Trickier for Upcoming Holidays

By November 30, 2017 No Comments

Survey Shows Phone Scammers Getting Trickier for Upcoming Holidays 

Survey Gives Insight Into Rise of New Scamming Tactics, Such as “Neighbor Spoofing” and Preying on Our Sympathy for Those Impacted by Natural Disasters  

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – November 30, 2017 – First Orion, provider of data and phone call transparency solutions, today announced the results of a new study* [LINK TO BLOG POST] that shows scammers are using new tactics like neighbor spoofing to take advantage of consumers as the holiday season approaches.

With over 2.4 billion phone calls made each month, scammers are using increasingly clever ways to penetrate carrier networks and reach their victims. To better understand the kinds of calls that continue to bombard consumers, First Orion surveyed 1,000 mobile phone users from the United States and found that this upcoming holiday season, scammers are getting more aggressive in the volume of calls and through the use of new spoofing techniques.

Nearly 85 percent of respondents have received a call they believed to be a scam, up from 73 percent in the same 2016 study. Almost half of those surveyed said scammers are increasingly using a familiar – if not their same – area code and prefix, which is a method known as neighbor spoofing, used by scammers to deliberately falsify the information on caller ID displays and disguise their identities. Neighbor spoofing calls are up 400 percent from last year and now account for 4 percent of all mobile traffic, according to First Orion’s detection systems.

More than half (52 percent) of all unknown incoming calls that match the first 6 digits of your mobile number are neighbor spoof calls, according to First Orion’s internal data. Scammers are predominately targeting consumers on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 3:00-6:00 pm ET. We are least likely to get a scam call on Sunday.

We are particularly susceptible to scammers during the holidays. Over 40 percent of those surveyed feel they are more willing to donate around the holidays. The approaching holiday season, unfortunately, marks an opportune time for scammers to capitalize on people’s generosity given recent natural disasters. The FCC is warning people about scammers posing as charity representatives seeking donations for disaster relief and fraudsters using caller ID spoofing to target disaster victims with insurance scam calls.

This year, over 58 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay a monthly fee for a service that would identify callers and block nuisance and fraudulent calls, which is a 7x increase from 2016.

“Our mobile phones are becoming a primary target for scammers as they continue to get more sophisticated,” said Scott Ballantyne, Chief Marketing Officer of First Orion. “With many online services requiring mobile phone numbers, we are all becoming more vulnerable to our numbers ending up in the wrong hands. At First Orion, our call transparency technology analyzes billions of events in real time to quickly identify and stop scammers in their tracks.”

Other interesting facts include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents have received a scam call in the past month
  • Cruise and vacation scams were ranked the most common scam call with 57 percent of people having received one, followed by IRS (40 percent) and imposter scams (27 percent)
  • Over 80 percent of those surveyed would be more inclined to change from their current cell phone carrier if it meant telemarketers and scammers could be blocked/identified compared to just 66 percent of those in 2016
  • Close to a quarter of those surveyed would leave their current carrier to one that blocked or identified incoming telemarketing and fraudulent calls
  • Almost 9 in 10 people feel it is important to know why a number is calling
  • Weekends are the lowest activity time for scammers, then it ramps up throughout the week

In addition to providing PrivacyStar applications for Android and iOS users, First Orion offers FONES for carriers and service providers to deliver the highest level of confidence and flexibility in protecting subscribers from scams and other unwanted calls. FONES enables carriers to easily and seamlessly deploy settings to protect all customers from identified malicious callers, such as known scammers that use robocalling.

About First Orion

First Orion provides call transparency solutions across multiple platforms, world-class data solutions, in-network call control and its PrivacyStar powered application solutions. First Orion Network Enterprise Solutions (FONES) currently provides call control, call blocking, call transparency and call management solutions to millions of mobile handsets. First Orion’s CallerYD® technology tells mobile subscribers who is calling and why, empowering them with the ability to take action. With branded and white-labeled applications as well as in-network solutions, First Orion assists phone carriers in protecting mobile and fixed line subscribers from unwanted calls and identifying unknown calls, including identifying and stopping millions of scam calls every day. First Orion is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas with offices in Seattle, Dallas and London. For regular updates, please visit

*First Orion surveyed 1,000 mobile phone users in the United States* 

PrivacyStar and First Orion are registered trademarks of First Orion Corp. All registered or unregistered trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners.

Media Contact:
Jackie Eicholz
First Orion