Fraud trends and scam tactics consumers should be aware of

If it seems like you’re receiving more spam than normal, you probably are. Seventy-four percent of consumers say they have received a scam text so far this year, while as many as 83% have received a scam phone call, according to Allstate Identity Protection’s (AIP) first quarter Identity Fraud in Focus report. Of those, nearly half report receiving 11 or more spam attempts via text or call every week.

consumers scam text

Although even successful scams sometimes fail to escalate to instances of full-blown identity theft – and therefore are not counted toward Allstate Identity Protection case counts – they are nonetheless burdensome and costly to victims.

Three varieties of scam that consumers should be aware of

  • Spam texts and phone calls: Scam phone calls and texts are nearly ubiquitous. And although 60% of respondents report having some kind of protection against spam/scams, many rely on basic features that come pre-installed on their devices and are not seeking additional layers of defense.
  • Charity scams: Fraudsters try to take advantage of crisis situations to steal money or sensitive personal information. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a global pandemic or geopolitical unrest, criminals will launch new charity scams to exploit generosity. When asked, half of AIP’s survey respondents said they are concerned about fraudulent charities, and 28% say either they have been impacted or know someone who has.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service scams: As the ease and speed of payment transactions increase, so too do scams. That is why scammers often target P2P payment services, which allow users to quickly send money. Half of respondents say these types of scams concern them, and 29% say either they had been a victim or know someone who has.

Other Q1 fraud trends

Cybercrime continues to flourish. In the first quarter, there has been a 121% year-over-year (YOY) increase in fraudulent credit and/or loan inquiries and a 66% YOY uptick in medical fraud.

Although overall medical fraud case numbers remain relatively low, the rapid annual growth is alarming, as it can be stubbornly difficult to detect and resolve.

“The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to fraud. Often, patient files need to be shared with third-party vendors across a number of systems and devices – some of which are outdated and lack sufficient protection,” said Allstate Identity Protection VP of Product Lewis Bertolucci.

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