Americans Lost $8.6 Billion in Phone Fraud Last Year

Safety concept: Fraud on smartphone

Americans lost an estimated $8.6 billion in phone fraud over the last 12 months, with an average loss of $489 per victim.

The online survey, conducted by the Harris Poll for Truecaller, showed that phone fraud affected 17.6 million people.

Mobile phones seemed to be at a higher risk for fraud than a home phone or landline, making up for 49% of the loss responses. Landlines, by comparison, represented 36% of the reports, and 29% were not sure on what phone the scam occurred.

Men proved to be much more likely to fall victim to fraud than women, representing 71% of the victims in the survey.

One possible reason for this high incidence of fraud could be that Americans are not taking enough precautions on their phones. 64% of the people surveyed reported they do not answer calls from unknown numbers, but 20% said they do nothing to protect themselves. 31% of the respondents do online searches for suspicious numbers before returning calls. 54% of smartphone owners who received calls from suspicious numbers rarely or never check their cell phone bill after the calls.

“We’re seeing that a lot of smartphone owners are not taking some very essential steps to avoid becoming a phone scam victim,” said Truecaller CEO Alan Mamedi. “This amounts to huge cost in time and money if they do get scammed and need to contest charges, or worse, handle a case of identity theft.”

About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue is a PR professional who has worked with the Birmingham Zoo, Coca – Cola , the Alabama Theatre, and the Saenger Theatre. She has covered personal finance issues for 10 years. Lynn can be contacted at [email protected]