Arkansas-based call protection company First Orion reports that a projected 45 percent of all cell phone calls in 2019 will be spam.
The number of spam calls have grown over the past years: from 3.7 percent of total calls in 2017 to 29 percent of total calls in 2018.
Scammers use “neighborhood-spoofing” where a fake caller ID resembles the area code and three-digit prefix of the number called. The fake number used is usually a working phone, subjecting the number’s real owner to receive return calls from the scammed party.
Immigrant communities are particularly at risk with scammers fraudulently posing as representatives of the Chinese embassy or Chinese consulate office.
Scammers have also targeted taxpayers and consumers by posing as the Internal Revenue Service, banks, debt collectors, or cable companies.
The Federal Trade Commission says they received approximately 756,000 complaints regarding spam calls in 2009 and 4.5 million in 2017.
Government agencies and private sector companies are partnering to combat this upsurge of spam calls. The Federal Communications Commission is also issuing millions of dollars in fines to scammers and have allowed phone carriers to block illegal calls.
[Washington Post] [Fox 13 Tampa] [Photo courtesy NewsKarnataka]