Americans bombarded with billions of scam calls in 2021 - report

The two-fold increase shows that Americans receive over a billion scam calls every month.

Robocalling allows criminals to target millions of victims with relative ease of automation. Even if a few calls are successful, criminals see financial gains.

According to a recent report by T-Mobile, the number of scam calls hit a record high this year with a staggering 21 billion scam calls, a 116% increase from 9.8 billion registered last year.

The number of scam calls has continuously increased over the year, with the quietest month being January (1.1 billion) and November – the worst (2.5 billion).

The analysis shows that scammers, much like everybody else, mostly work on weekdays, with the volume of scam calls dropping by 80% from Friday to Sunday.

The number of scam calls this year was lowest around Easter and will likely start dropping again on the 23 of December.

Over a half (51%) of intercepted scam calls were related to fake vehicle warranties, followed by impersonating Social Security office (10%), wireless provider (9%), car insurance company (6%), or package delivery (4%).

According to T-Mobile, not all US locations are targeted with the same intensity. For example, Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia had the highest volume of scam calls, while the top metro area was Dallas/Fort Worth.

Don't get duped: how to spot social engineering attacks

It is essential to understand that robocalls are a tool to social engineer victims' consent to give away funds, important data, or personal information.

With all that in mind, knowing how to spot a social engineering attempt is still vital for keeping your money and personal information safe. Here's how:

Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. If you do and someone you don't know starts asking you for personal information, hang up immediately.

Never give away personal data. This includes data like names, usernames, email addresses, passwords, PINs, or any information that scammers can use to identify you.

Take it slow. Scammers often try to create a false sense of urgency to pressure you into giving up your information. If someone is trying to coerce you into making a decision, hang up or tell them, you'll call back later. Then call the official number of the company they're purporting to represent.

Don't trust caller ID. Scammers can imitate a business or someone from your contact list, faking names and phone numbers. In fact, financial service providers never call their customers to confirm their personal information. In case of suspicious activity, they will simply block your account and expect you to contact the company via official channels to resolve the issue. As such, always stay alert, even if the caller ID on your phone screen looks genuine.

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