‘Tis the Season for Scammers…New First Orion Survey Finds Consumers are More Vulnerable and 54% Receive More Scam Calls Over the Holiday Season

The 2021 Holiday Scam Report identifies online orders, deliveries and charitable donation fraud as top mobile phone scams consumers experience during the holiday season

First Orion, a provider of digital call experiences for the world’s leading mobile carriers, enterprises, and mobile apps, today released findings from its 2021 Holiday Scam Report that explores U.S. consumers’ experience with scam calls during the holiday season. Americans are expected to receive over 27 billion scam calls resulting in 21 million scam victims and over $10 billion in losses in November and December alone. The report indicates an increase in scammer activity, with 70% of respondents saying they have received a scam call in the past week, and 54% believe they receive more scam calls over the holidays.

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Consumers Beware: Scammers are Targeting Holiday Shoppers

The holiday season provides ample opportunities for scammers to take advantage of holiday shoppers. The report’s findings show that 54% of respondents typically don’t answer calls from unidentified/unknown callers, but during the holidays, 71% report that they are more likely to answer an unidentified/unknown call if they are expecting an order or delivery.

Nearly 1 in 4 respondents report having received a scam call related to online orders or deliveries
68% reported missing a legitimate call regarding an order or delivery because they didn’t recognize the number calling.

It’s the Season of Giving (Unknowingly) to Scammers

According to Giving USA Foundation’s annual report on U.S. philanthropy, Americans contributed more than $471 billion to charity in 2020. Findings from the Holiday Scam Report indicate that this rise in generosity makes consumers more susceptible to charity-related scam calls with 49% of respondents stating they are more likely to speak with a caller regarding charitable donations during the holiday season. Additional findings show:

Nearly 23% of respondents say that they have received a charity or donation scam call to their mobile phone
Over 31% report that they see an increase in charity or donation scam calls over the holiday season
“The holidays provide a multitude of ways for scammers to fraud consumers and take advantage of their vulnerabilities, like those waiting for last-minute gift deliveries or making end-of-year donations to charitable organizations,” said Kent Welch, Chief Data Officer at First Orion. “Consumers must be diligent in protecting themselves from potential scammers, and those brands trying to communicate with them need to make an effort to identify themselves through branded communication to protect their customers.”

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The combination of scam frequency, customer willingness to answer unknown calls, and the surge of activity over the holiday season reveals that many people are falling for these scams in some fashion, with over 40% of all individuals surveyed reporting being a victim of a scam call.

The First Orion Holiday Scam Report surveyed 2,000 U.S. mobile subscribers aged 18 and above across 48 states, and was nearly evenly split by gender, resulting in an even sampling of the U.S. mobile subscriber market at large.

A leader in digital branded calling and call protection technology, First Orion’s mission is to provide transparency in communication to help businesses and consumers create meaningful connections. First Orion’s INFORM and ENGAGE branded calling suite helps companies brand their outbound calls while empowering consumers to connect over a trusted, verified call. First Orion also works directly with mobile carriers to provide industry-leading call protection services to combat fraudulent calls and enable consumers to trust their phones again.

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