Navigating the Latest Menacing Robocalls: Who Are the Prime Targets and How to Combat Scams

tellows Insights Report
Richard Grant
Richard Grant - Expert in Telecommunications and User Protection
Richard is responsible for tellows' Consumer Protection department and is responsible for investigating all matters relating to telephone fraud, with a particular focus on developments in the telecommunications sector. Last updated: Feb 17, 2024
Robocalls, a persistent nuisance in today's digital landscape, manifest in various forms, including surveys, SMS spam, telemarketing, and scam tactics. Drawing from data collected between 2018 and 2024, tellows research experts have meticulously analyzed the prevalence and impact of these calls, shedding light on the pervasive negative experiences they engender. Moreover, concerted efforts such as Project Point of No Entry (PoNE) have been initiated to mitigate the onslaught of illegal robocalls originating from overseas.

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tellows Insights: Distribution of phone numbers assigned to Robocalls*

Official Robocall numbers with positive ranking

The positively rated Robocall numbers are usually assigned to parcel deliveries or payment verification.
tellows users submitted to 5 different phone numbers a total of 15 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
2035670658 3 Robocall (Debt collector) Calling about debt collections 6
8438832246 4 Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC This is a robocall from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of SC. Completely trustworthy but they have hound 3
8008289828 5 Rogers (Chinese Robocall) 6
8335412441 2 Spam Call Calle ID shows Amerigoup, an MCO for Iowa Medicaid, & the number 978-802-7462 - robocall says they'r 5
8449260163 1 Alexa verification call Alexa app verification robocall for 'find my phone' service. 1

The vast use cases for robocalls are purposed by scammers to target specific people

It's clear that each generation engages with technology uniquely. Fraudsters have honed their skills in discerning the distinct behavioral patterns among different age groups, exploiting these differences to their advantage. Tellows experts have discovered that an alarming 77% of robocalls targeting all generations are perceived as negative scams, leaving only 23% of the calls even remotely permissible, given that the majority are just spam anyway.

Negative numbers associated with Robocalls, generally a persistent type of spam call, or of a harassment type in nature:

tellows users submitted to 348 different phone numbers a total of 759 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
6504279924 6 XFINITY Robocall SCAMMER Xfinity cost trap SCAM 9
8336802022 10 Robocall 7
3413566211 6 XFINITY Robocall SCAMMER Fake Xfinity subscription cost trap SCAMMER 9
6698421993 9 Choice Warranty, SCAMMER Choice Warranty is a Home Warranty cost trap robocall SCAM 9
6506189058 6 XFINITY Robocall SCAMMER Xfinity cost trap SCAMMER 9
6469216783 3 NYC Doctors (Robocall) Robocall announcement from New York City Doctors. 7
4029339118 4 Robocall Telemarketers Say they selling windows and doors. Possibly a marketing service for pre-recorded sales pitches. 7
4197189007 3 Robocall 8
5623719418 4 Debt Collectors (Robocall) 2 calls from this number, I never answer. No idea who this caller is. 7
5402544060 3 Robocall (Debt collector) Robocall warning from debt collector 7

Let's take a look at some prime targets based on generation demographics:

1. Millennials, encompassing individuals aged 24 to 40, demonstrate a high degree of digital literacy but are paradoxically vulnerable to identity fraud. Of the robocalls recorded in the last five years, spam calls are the most prevalent, with 42% of the spam linked to SMS spam and advertisements. Despite their familiarity with technology, Millennials are often ensnared by promises of rewards or transactional communications, making them prime targets for fraudsters within this category of calls.

2. Gen X, spanning ages 41 to 65, exhibits a moderate level of technological proficiency. Of the spam robocalls encountered by this demographic, 14.5% of the spam linked to survey messages prompting recipients to press buttons. Fraud tactics targeting Gen X leverage vulnerabilities related to financial matters and offer enticing opportunities, exploiting their trust and financial concerns.

3. Baby Boomers, aged 55 to 75, remain susceptible to traditional robocall tactics. Older Americans are often targeted by fraudsters posing as government officials or legitimate businesses, preying on their trust and familiarity with traditional communication channels. Scams related to IRS, healthcare, and social security are prevalent among this demographic, posing significant financial risks.

FTC Efforts and Imposter Scams: According to data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), imposter calls reign supreme, accounting for over 175,000 complaints received in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023. Of these, 67% were robocalls, indicating a concerning trend in fraudulent activity. Imposter scams, which often involve impersonating government agencies or reputable businesses, underscore the urgent need for regulatory intervention.

Exposing Fraud: tellows Insights for Consumer Safety

tellows equips consumers with vital insights to safeguard against Robocall scams:
Caller Verification: Rely on the tellows app to authenticate incoming calls, cross-referencing numbers against an expansive database of user-generated ratings.

Robocalls continue to pose a pervasive threat across generations, with alarming percentages of calls being categorized as scams. By leveraging data-driven insights and collaborative efforts, we can combat the proliferation of illegal robocalls and safeguard consumers against fraudulent schemes. Through heightened awareness, regulatory measures, and technological innovations, we can strive for a future free from the scourge of robocall scams.

All data was last updated on Feb 17, 2024. The phone numbers examined were categorized using the tellows score (1 - serious to 9 - dubious). This indicates the risk assessment of a telephone number. The higher the score, the more dubious the caller is. Calls with the Robocall categorization and the number of reported phone numbers were examined. The analysis only takes into account numbers for which tellows users have assigned various robocalls.

*User interest for phone numbers assigned to Robocalls

tellows Insights Report