On December 20, 2021, wireless service provider T-Mobile released a new report on robocalls. While robocalls are nothing new, the report confirms that they have been steadily increasing in recent years. The report verifies this trend with hard data, specifically showing how many automated calls were blocked via T-Mobile’s Scam Shield.
The T-Mobile robocall report showed that the annoying practice had increased by 116% in 2021 when compared against 2020 numbers. This translates to roughly 425 million calls per week. According to the company, their Scam Shield was able to block 21 billion of the calls over the course of 2021.
Speaking on the results of the study, Jon Freier, the President of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group, had this to say:
“Attempted scam calls hit record highs in 2021, but with Scam Shield we are identifying or blocking an average 1.8 billion calls each month — or 700 calls per second! — for our T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers. We are the only provider protecting every single customer with the free scam-fighting tools in Scam Shield, regardless of their plan or device …. We know that scammers won’t stop as long as they continue to be successful, so we are doing everything we can to make their job as hard as possible. Scam Shield leverages T-Mobile’s powerful network to help keep our customers protected in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
While the report functions as an advertisement for T-Mobile, the data found is incredibly helpful (and alarming). Scammers use a variety of methods to attack their potential victims. With robocalls reaching astronomical numbers, each major increase increases the chance for successful social engineering. Unfortunately, individuals fall victim to these scams on a daily basis.
It is recommended that if an automated caller claims to be from a government agency, tech company help desk, or other authoritative source, be incredibly wary. If the caller begins asking for private information, hang up and check where the call originated. More often than not, the source will be a spoofed ID or a number that has nothing to do with the organization’s claimed affiliation.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons/Tomaszów Mazowiecki