T-Mobile has just published the 2021 Scam and Robocall Report, detailing the significant surge in the number of scam calls on its network. The report claims that the carrier’s Scam Shield identified or blocked more than 21 billion scam calls in 2021.
To put this into perspective, that’s roughly 700 calls blocked or identified each second throughout the year. T-Mobile further adds that scam calls increased by 116% overall in 2021.
In case you’re unaware, the Scam Shield app is available to all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile subscribers. Diving further into the report, T-Mobile says January 2021 had the lowest scam traffic with around 1.1 billion calls deemed “Scam Likely.”
But the volume more than doubled by November 2021 as 2.5 billion calls were listed as Scam Likely. The carrier notes (via) that 2020 was a relatively slow year for spammers due to quarantines and other restrictions. However, it’s clear that things have changed in 2021.
T-Mobile says Easter was the slowest day for scammers in 2021
“We are the only provider protecting every single customer with the free scam-fighting tools in Scam Shield, regardless of their plan or device,” Jon Freier, President of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group said.
“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.”
On the brighter side, spam calls were reportedly down by up to 80% on weekends compared to weekdays (Monday-Friday). The carrier also went through some of the frequently attempted scams of the year. Scams related to fake vehicle warranties topped the list, making up for more than 51% of T-Mobile’s Scam Likely volume.
Around 10% of the scams involved scammers pretending to be from the Social Security office, while 9% were posing as wireless providers. T-Mobile says some were even posing as the IRS, credit card companies, or health insurance providers.
Of course, scammers also have their days off. T-Mobile says the lowest scam volume of the year was witnessed on Easter (April 4). States like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia reportedly faced the most scam calls in the year. The carrier further said that scam calls could reduce significantly from December 23, 2021.
Based on this report, it’s probably a good idea to get the Scam Shield app for your mobile device. If you bought your device via T-Mobile, it’s likely that the app is already preinstalled.