Robocall ‘Hijacking’ becoming a Bigger Threat to Consumers, while ‘Snowshoe Spamming’ Grows, Report Warns

Robocall hijacking is on a steep rise in the United States, along with ‘snowshoe spamming,’ a new report warns American consumers…

Americans receive a whopping 200 million unwanted robocalls per day, according to telecommunications services company, Transaction Network Services or TNS.

Robocall Hijacking On the Rise, Report Reveals

High-risk calls or communications involving something like identity theft, increased by 28 percent from Q3 2018 to Q2 2019. Meanwhile, nuisance calls rose by 38 percent, TNS states. Nuisance calls are usually not malicious but rather, the result of careless, unintentional calling patterns.

Although carriers have become more aggressive with stopping spam calls, robocall hijacking is growing.

In fact, robocall hijacking accounts for a rising number of bad-actor incidents. One in 1,700 mobile numbers are being taken over by robocall spoofers every month.

That represents a nearly double increase of 1 in 4,000 last year. The problem is so bad in some instances, consumers have resorted to disconnecting their phone numbers, according to TNS.

One extreme example involved a legitimate mobile number being hijacked to place more than 36,000 calls in just three days. That crime used the hijacked number to perpetrate vacation and IRS scams.

Additionally, toll-free numbers accounted for 25 percent of high-risk calls during the first half of this year. That’s up by 17 percent over 2018.

Snowshoe Spamming also on the Rise

Another nefarious trend is likewise on the rise — snowshoe spamming. This is when bad actors start their schemes by spoof local numbers. Then, will use them to make numerous calls over several hundred numbers each day.

The practice will continue over several days, utilizing deceptive call practices that are difficult for robocall-blocking apps to stop.

“By the time [the app] determines the number to be from a bad actor, the bad actor has moved on from that number,” TNS said.

Owen E. Richason IV

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