Scam Shield was launched as a T-Mobile “Un-carrier move” back in 2020, and now T-Mobile has shared that an average of 700 Scam calls were identified or blocked per second in 2021.
The 2021 year-end Scam and Robocall report was released today and details just how massive of an operation the scam call industry is. T-Mobile says over 21 billion scam calls were identified or blocked during the year, which averages out to about 700 calls per second. T-Mobile says that right now, an average of 425 million scam calls per week are being made. That’s a lot of spam.
The FCC required all providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN by June 30th, 2021. This reduced scam calls by authenticating the origin of the call to be legitimate when the call is made. This is why you notice less and less “spoofed” number calls lately. T-Mobile has had STIR/SHAKEN implemented since March via Scam Shield, and AT&T uses it as part of their “ActiveArmor” service. Verizon has partially implemented it as well in their “Call Filter“, but apparently does not include prepaid or business line customers.
The problem is only getting worse, too. T-Mobile’s report says that scam calls hit an all-time high in 2021, increasing 116% over the scam call volume of 2020. That leads to an estimated $29.8 billion in money lost to these types of scams.
There are a few more interesting tidbits in the report as well. Scam calls drop in volume by 85% on weekends, and the lowest scam call volume of the year was April 4th (Easter). Scam calls increase in volume over the holidays, but drop sharply after December 23rd. The most common scam call type was, unsurprisingly, fake car warranty calls. A whopping 51% of all scam calls in 2021 were related to fake vehicle warranties, so many that it’s become a bit of a meme.
The report also breaks down scam calls a bit by geography. The top 4 states were Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, with the top targeted metro area being Dallas/Fort Worth.
Unfortunately, T-Mobile’s Scam Shield doesn’t do much for scam texts, only calls. Even so, if you haven’t enabled Scam Block, you might want to do so. To enable Scam Block on T-Mobile, which will automatically block calls identified as spam, you can enable it in your online profile or dial the short code #662# from your T-Mobile device.
You can read the full 2021 Scam and Robocall Report in PDF form on T-Mobile’s website.