40 billion phone calls predicted in 2019, half expected to be scams

Published: Sep. 16, 2018 at 4:30 PM CDT
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A new study predicts 2019 will see 40 billion mobile phone calls, but they also expect about half of those to be from scammers.

Tech company First Orion recently announced scammers are picking up efforts in their 2018 Scam Call Trends and Projections Report.

Topeka resident Randy Austin said over the years he’s received more and more spam calls.

“Yesterday I got a call that I'd better talk with them because my student loans were in jeopardy,” Austin said.

In fact over the past year First Orion's data shows a dramatic increase in scam calls, from 3.7 percent of total calls in 2017 to 29.2 percent in 2018, and by 2019 they expect 44.6 percent of all calls to be scams.

One of their most popular tactics is ‘neighborhood spoofing’ where the scammer disguises their number to look like a local number on caller i-d.

Austin agreed it’s effective saying, "If it's in our area code 785 we're going to pick it up, even though we don't recognize the number.”

To combat the problem First Orion, which assists phone carriers like t-mobile and sprint, will fully roll out a new in network technology known as "CallPrinting". The company expects it will significantly mitigate the volume of scam traffic beginning in October of this year.

In the meantime, and as always, the best way to protect yourself is to keep your wits about you like Austin.

"I think that [scammers] are going to do things as long as they are effective, so to me the best way to stop scam calls, spam calls, political calls and that sort of thing is immediately to hang up."

The Federal Communications Commission has also joined forces with First Orion to combat scam calls.

For more information on First Orion and their efforts to combat scammers just click