Scam phone calls, it’s alarm in Italy: 20% calls made by bots

The phenomenon of calls made by automated systems is growing. And Italy is not immune: the data of an international research worry

In 2018, globally, 85 billion scam calls were made by bots, with a growth of 325% compared to last year. An alarming figure and one that also affects us very closely. In the world ranking of countries with more "robocalls" (as they are defined the automated phone calls, managed by software, through which are conveyed scams of various kinds) Italy is in third place after Spain and the United Kingdom.

These are the numbers contained in the first report "Global Robocall Radar" by Hiya, a company that develops software and apps (for example the Samsung Smart Call application, integrated into all Galaxy smartphones from S7 onwards) to filter unwanted calls. Applicazioni di questo genere possono essere molto utili per evitare di essere truffati, ma non sempre riescono a filtrare tutte le chiamate pericolose. Per questo motivo è sempre bene fare molta attenzione a ciò ce si dice (e ciò che si fa) quando si ricevono chiamate da numeri che non si conoscono.

Quali tipi di chiamate nascondono una truffa

Hiya riferisce che queste chiamate truffa sono principalmente di 5 tipi:

  • Bank Account Scam. Chi chiama si finge un rappresentante di una banca e chiede informazioni riservate sul conto corrente
  • Estorsione/Rapimenti. Chi chiama finge di aver rapito un parente o un amico della persona chiamata e prova ad estorcere denaro
  • Credit Card Scam. Chi chiama cerca di ottenere i dati della nostra carta di credito
  • Wangiri Scam (Truffa dello squillo). Riceviamo uno squillo da un numero internazionale, se richiamiamo quel numero ci prosciugano il conto telefonico con tariffe a pagamento
  • Truffa del vicino. Using VoIP systems, scammers mimic the phone number of a home in our area and try to steal information by posing as our neighbors

Of all these calls, which can be made either by a live human or by automated software that answers with a pre-recorded voice, Hiya's computer systems can distinguish how many are made by robots and have intercepted 85 billion in the past year alone.

Data on scam calls in Italy

In 2018, 21% of calls received by users "protected" by Hiya were spam calls. On average, each user received 6 unwanted calls per month. What types of scams did the software that called phone users residing in Italy try to convey? 36% of the spam calls were made by telemarketing companies, while the most frequent scam attempts concerned fake companies active in the solar energy sector, which try to obtain data about the electricity supply and then activate unsolicited contracts. The second most common category of scam was the Credit Card Scam.