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Scams by phone

Scam calls designed to steal money from victims are increasing in the UK, according to data released by a call-blocking and caller ID company. The UK leads Europe in the highest percentage of nuisance calls, at 13per cent. Then come Spain and Sweden with 11per cent and 8per cent, respectively.

The number of calls to mobile phones claiming to offer compensation for a recent accident has risen by more than 76per cent in the last three months. Accident scams are the most commonly reported type of ‘robocall’ (an unsolicited, automated call) according to data analysed by Hiya from more than 100 million numbers in the UK.

PPI calls are still increasing (by 24per cent in the last two months), despite reports that the number of claimants has fallen in the UK. PPI calls are the second-most reported phone scams, closely followed by calls claiming the receiver has won a prize in the Lotto (up more than 69per cent in the last two months). Other commonly reported scams on the increase in the last two months are: bank scams (up 40per cent), of which fee refunds is the most commonly reported (up 23per cent); compensation for a flight (up 19per cent) and car finance scam calls (up 21per cent). In order of prevalence, the top three phone scams are:

1. Accident Compensation
2. PPI
3. Prize Lotto Winner

In order of growth, the fastest growing phone scams are:

1. Accident compensation (up 76per cent in the last quarter)
2. Prize lotto scams (up 69per cent in the last quarter)
3. Bank scams (up 40per cent in the last quarter)

Alex Algard, Hiya’s CEO says: “These calls are designed to use the lure of free money to entice victims to hand over information that could be used to defraud them. The calls are getting more sophisticated, using technology to mimic a local trusted number and mask their true identity.”

Hiya, which launched in the UK earlier this year, blocks fraudulent and scam calls, and identifies genuine calls; and is free to use on Android and iOS mobile devices. Hiya also powers caller ID services for all Samsung Galaxy S7 devices in 28 countries, including the UK.


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