By: Elizabeth Weise, USATODAY
SAN FRANCISCO – What you think are robocalls by aggressive marketers are more likely scams by crooks.
The top three phone scams targeting consumers this year are Google listing scams, loan-related scams and fraudsters offering free vacations, an information security company found — by masquerading as unsuspecting customers.
These calls cost Americans $7.4 billion a year, a survey conducted by the Harris Poll found. In 2015, 11% of U.S. consumers reported they lost money to a telephone scam.
The fraud calls begin as robocalls, then escalate when the victim picks up the line.
“These guys actually have call centers that just make fraud calls all day long,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop, told USA TODAY.
Pindrop is an Atlanta-based anti-fraud company that helps banks and insurance companies weed out phone scammers. It recently analyzed the fraud calls coming into nearly 100,000 landlines it runs as a “honeypot,” a common security technique to lure in attackers to observe and learn from their methods.
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