These days, it feels like the scams never end. Of course, some of the most intrusive is the endless spam calls that bug you all day long.
Ever wonder why you get so many of those car-warranty robocalls? Here’s the reason.
One of the most powerful defenses against scam calls is your wireless provider. T-Mobile, a sponsor of Kim’s national radio show, released its 2021 wireless scam report. Scam attempts are up — but there is a bright spot when it comes to your protection.
Scam calls reach an all-time high in 2021
Overall, scam attempts increased 116% through Dec. 14 of 2021 compared to 2020. The industry is predicted to receive a whopping 110 billion scam calls this year. The good news? T-Mobile Scam Shield identified or blocked over 21 billion scam calls — that’s 700 calls identified or blocked as Scam Likely every second.
Get this: Scam Shield is identifying or blocking three and a half times more calls than AT&T’s solution. When T-Mobile labels a call as “Scam Likely,” data shows it has a better than 99% accuracy rate.
Let’s dive deeper into the 2021 scam call stats.
Do scammers ever rest? After a year of quarantine in 2020, scam call attempts grew throughout 2021, starting with the lowest numbers in January and doubling by November to 2.5 billion calls that month alone. T-Mobile’s report shows scammers slow down on weekends and holidays. They average 80 million scam calls per day from Monday to Friday, 85% higher than weekend scam call volume.
Which calls are most prevalent? It’s no surprise fake vehicle warranty scams accounted for 51% of scam calls in 2021. This was followed by scammers impersonating the Social Security office (10%), wireless providers (9%), car insurance companies (6%) and package delivery companies (4%).
Who is targeted most? Texas was the top targeted state for scam calls in 2021, with Dallas/Fort Worth being the number one targeted metro area. Florida, Arizona and Georgia took the next three spots.
How big is the impact? Scam calls are the No. 1 consumer complaint to the FCC. They continue at such a high clip because they’re effective.
T-Mobile’s Scam Shield blocked or identified more than 21 billion scam calls for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers in 2021. An average of 1.8 billion scam calls were identified or blocked each month. The suite includes several layers of protection, including free tools to keep customers protected:
- Scam Shield works at the network level and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze call behavior across the entire network to detect new threats in real time.
- Scam Likely warnings automatically appear on the Caller ID when a scam call is detected so you can decide whether or not to answer.
- Scam Block stops Scam Likely calls at the network level. With Scam Block turned on, these calls won’t even ring through to your phone. You can turn on Scam Block from the Scam Shield app or by dialing #662# from your T-Mobile phone.
- Every T-Mobile, Sprint and Metro by T-mobile customer gets free Caller ID so you have more information to decide whether or not to answer a call.
- STIR/SHAKEN call verification lets you know when a call has been authenticated by the T-Mobile network. This indicates that the number has not been spoofed by a scammer.
T-Mobile customers can download the free Scam Shield app for iOS and Android phones.
T-Mobile makes it easy to switch to its network. It will pay off your eligible phone (up to $800) via virtual prepaid Mastercard and also provides a discounted unlimited plan for those who are 55 and older. With its Essentials 55+ wireless plan, you get two lines of unlimited data, talk and text for just $27.50 a line per month plus taxes and fees with AutoPay.
Only one person on the account needs to be 55+, making for a great family plan, and the Scam Shield protections are included for free in every T-Mobile plan.
If you’re under 55, T-Mobile also has discounts for veterans, service members and their families. The carrier also offers discounts for state and local first responders and their families.
Check out how much you can save by visiting a T-Mobile store near you, click T-Mobile.com/55 or call 1-800-T-MOBILE now.
Essentials 55+: During congestion, customers on this plan may notice speeds lower than other customers and further reduction if using >50GB/mo., due to data prioritization. Credit approval, deposit, and, in stores & on customer service calls, $30 assisted or upgrade support charge may be required. Monthly Regulatory Programs (RPF) & Telco Recovery Fee (TRF) totaling $3.18 per voice line ($0.60 for RPF & $2.58 for TRF) and $1.16 per data only line ($0.15 for RPF & $1.01 for TRF) applies; taxes/fees approx. 4-38% of bill. Unlimited talk & text features for direct communications between 2 people; others (e.g., conference & chat lines, etc.) may cost extra. High speed data in US only. Phone payoff: Limited time offer; subject to change. Qualifying unlocked device, credit, service, port-in, 90+ days with device & eligible carrier & timely redemption required. Virtual Mastercard typically takes 15 days. No cash access & expires in 6 months. Card issued by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.