One-third of people annoyed enough by spam calls in 2022 to lodge a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were targeted by imposter calls, according to a recent report.

The report — issued by QR Code Generator, which enables users to create QR codes — said that 33% of complaints (a total of 289,048 filed complaints) related to calls in which people posed as someone in authority to commit identify theft. Some of these exploits featured phony caller IDs made to look like they were affiliated with official organizations. These calls centered on persuading people to send money, buy gift cards, or share personal data.

The report included 11 categories totaling 885,582 complaints. The 10 categories related to imposters featured several with only one or two percent of complaints.

They were: Warranties and protection plans (203,810 complaints, 23% share); medical and prescriptions (137,212; 15%); reducing debt (128,831; 15%); energy, solar, and utilities (55,147; 6%); lotteries, prizes, and sweepstakes (15,662; 2%); home improvement and cleaning (15,149; 2%); computer and technical support (14,928; 2%); vacation and timeshares (13,592; 2%); work from home (7,379; 1%) and home security and alarms (4,824; 1%).

“The prevalence of spam calls has become a significant concern for individuals and businesses alike, impacting productivity, privacy, and overall well-being,” QR Code Generator CEO Marc Porcar said. “While advancements in technology offer solutions such as call-blocking apps and legislation targeting robo-callers, the persistent nature of this issue underscores the need for continued vigilance and innovation.”

Spam calls and texts rise and fall seasonally, both overall and in relationship to each other. The problem likely is greater now than it was two years ago.

In March, a survey from business communications firm Hiya found that 45% of consumers had received a call from somebody falsely claiming to be from a company. These calls cause reputational harm to the real business.

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