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SHOPPING-RELATED IMPOSTER ROBOCALLS SWINDLE UNSUSPECTING HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

YouMail Robocall Scam Threat Advisory – December 2021

YouMail issued a new robocall threat advisory for the holiday season warning that Americans are under threat from robocalls fraudulently claiming to be major American businesses including Amazon, Apple, Google, McAfee, Norton, PayPal, and many more.

These robocalls pretend to be major American businesses to scam unsuspecting consumers. This trend is especially dangerous during the holiday season when consumers are more active in shopping and more sensitive to shopping-related robocalls.

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Major companies suffering imposter calls related to fake purchases or billings include some of the most familiar brand names in America. YouMail has identified between 50 million and 100 million of these fraudulent purchase scams in the past month alone. These calls primarily report that something was purchased on your account, and you need to either return their call, or press one to talk to a representative to address the problem.

These are some examples of the imposter calls YouMail has observed:

Amazon:

Dear customer. Thank you for your purchase from Amazon shopping. This call is to inform you that your Apple MacBook Pro with Apple Air will be delivered by tomorrow evening. And $1,537.35 has been debited from your account for this purchase. If you authorized it, there is no action required, and if you did not authorize this charge, press one to connect to Amazon’s customer representative for addressing this charge.

PayPal:

Dear customer. An iPhone 11 has been purchased from your PayPal account and $699 has been deducted from your account. If it was not you, then please press one.

Norton:

Hi, this call is from Norton Customer Service. We have seen a recent order number award 2057 for three years written on your account, which is billed on your card attached to your Norton account. The amount starts at $499.99. We noticed some suspicious activities on your account, so we have put a hold on the transaction. Please press one to cancel your order. Please press two to talk to our customer care executive. Thank you.

“At this point, there are so many imposter calls for so many different brands that it’s all but impossible for a consumer to know if they are being scammed or if it’s the real company or service calling them,” said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “The only prudent thing for a consumer to do is simply let these calls roll to voicemail, and then call the brand or company back directly. In addition, it’s wise for consumers to run robocall blocking apps like YouMail to filter out most of these calls automatically, saving them time and trouble.”

At YouMail, we want consumers to understand the extent of fraudulent calling that’s currently out there, so they can protect themselves. Users of the YouMail robocall blocking app are protected because the app correctly identifies and blocks such calls automatically. However, these types of fraud calls can be very hard for other consumers to identify, especially when a trusted brand like Amazon or PayPal or Apple or Google is involved.

These call volume estimates come from extrapolating the call behavior seen by the users of the YouMail call protection app, the same mechanism used for the monthly YouMail Robocall Index.

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