Phone scams are the worst. They're annoying, redundant, and sometimes, scarily convincing.
In the past 12 months, phone spammers managed to trick more than nine percent of Americans, with an average loss of $430 per victim! That's basically a car payment. Now, experts are predicting those numbers to rise even higher, with an overall total reaching $9.5 billion by 2019. Data collected by The Harris Poll on behalf of Truecaller — a company that offers mobile users caller ID and spam detection — shows that spam callers are targeting the Southern part of the U.S.
Top 10 States Targeted by Phone Spammers in the U.S.
1. Alabama: 18.54 spam calls/month
2. South Carolina: 17.83 spam calls/month
3. Mississippi:16.92 spam calls/month
4. Tennessee: 16.67 spam calls/month
5. Georgia: 16.61 spam calls/month
6. Texas: 16.19 spam calls/month
7. Louisiana: 16.17 spam calls/month
8. Arkansas: 14.86 spam calls/month
9. North Carolina: 14.86 spam calls/month
10. Maryland: 14.03 spam calls/month
4 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud, According to the Federal Trade Commission
That's outrageous. Could you imagine receiving 16 faux calls per month? What a waste of time. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to stay ahead of scammers.
1. Call out the imposters. Schemers usually pretend to be someone you know and trust, like a family member, a government official, or a charity you've donated to before.
2. Google it. It's always a good idea to check out the company or product in question into the Google search bar. Try pairing the name with words like "complaint" or "scam."
3. Hang up. If you answer the phone only to hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up immediately. These calls aren't just fake, they're illegal.
4. Sign up for free scam alerts. The FTC offers free tips and advice about scams that can be sent straight to your inbox. To sign up, visit ftc.gov/scams.
Truecaller also revealed the top 10 states to receive the least spam calls in the U.S., which included Alaska, with 4.62 calls per month; Hawaii, with 6.53 spam calls per month; Washington, with 7.48 spam calls per month; Massachusetts with 8.06 spam calls per month; Vermont with 8.06 spam calls per month; Oregon, with 8.36 spam calls per month; West Virginia, with 8.92 spam calls per month; North Dakota, with 8.91 spam calls per month; Minnesota, with 9.04 spam calls per month, and New Hampshire, with 9.12 spam calls per month.Do you receive a lot of phone calls from spammers? Do you feel like Maryland gets more than the average state? Tell us in the comments below!