Fraud initiated by telephone call

In 2019, telephone calls were the main contact method used by scammers. This is largely due to advancements in technology.

Below are the top methods used to initiate telephone fraud:

Automated dialing

This is a device or software that automatically dials telephone numbers. Scammers may:

  • use lists of phone numbers
  • set up the dialer to call all possible configurations of phone numbers in a given region
Robocalls
This is a phone call that uses an auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message. The recorded message may use a computerized/robotic voice or that of a real person.
Spoofing
Occurs when caller ID or call display are manipulated to show trusted phone numbers. This tricks people into answering the call and believing they are speaking with a trusted source.
Delayed disconnect (only on landlines)
To make themselves seem real, scammers who pretend to be from your bank or another institution will sometimes ask you to verify their identity by ending your current call and immediately calling the number of your bank or another institution. When you call that number, the previous scammer will answer again because the original call was never disconnected.

How to protect yourself from telephone fraud

Learn more about protecting yourself from telephone fraud.

Browse types of telephone scams.

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