If a smooth-talking phone caller has ever tried to cheat you out of your hard-earned money, you’re far from alone. Further, such scams tend to be rampant at tax time.
An estimated one in 10 Americans lost money in phone scams between April 2016 and April 2017, says a recent Harris Poll, parting with an average $430 per person for a national total of $9.5 billion. That marks a 56 percent monetary increase over the previous year; that’s partly because such fraud has become easier for criminals as technology has enabled both number-finding and robo-dialing, and Americans are more likely to answer unknown calls on their ever-present mobile phones.
Many fraudsters see tax time as an ideal time to prey on people facing uncertainty or anxiety about getting their tax returns right, which is why they may call and impersonate IRS officials threatening arrest, deportation, eviction or license revocation if taxes are not paid immediately by using a money transfer, loading a prepaid card or purchasing a gift card.
(Read more at Valley Morning Star.)
This survey was conducted online on behalf of Truecaller via its Quick Query omnibus product in 2017. Find the full methodology below.