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T-Mobile Report: Un-carrier Customers Protected from Over 19 Billion Scam Calls in 2023

28 de febrero de 2024

In its 2023 Scam and Robocall Report, T-Mobile unveils the industry’s top scam trends and shares how Scam Shield helps keep customers protected

BELLEVUE, Wash. — February 28, 2024

What’s the news: The Un-carrier released its 2023 Scam and Robocall Report, sharing that T-Mobile’s Scam Shield identified or blocked 19.8 billion calls in 2023 — an impressive 628 spam calls every second. Thanks to T-Mobile’s ongoing network advancements and government intervention, T-Mobile customers saw a 51% decrease in scam calls from 2022.

Why it matters: Americans collectively lost $10 billion to scams in 2023 and scammers and spammers aren’t slowing down. As bad actors continue to get more creative, there’s never been a better time to stay protected.

Who it’s for: Everyone who wants better protection against fraudsters.

T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) today released its third annual Scam and Robocall Report, sharing new 2023 data highlighting emerging trends related to scam, spam and robocall activity, and showcasing how the Un-carrier’s Scam Shield technology helps keep customers protected against unwanted fraudulent calls.

"Scammers are leveling up, but so is T-Mobile's Scam Shield, allowing us to continuously evolve our technology when our network filters detect a scam call," said Ulf Ewaldsson, President of Technology, T-Mobile. "In 2023, Scam Shield identified a staggering 628 scam calls every second, proving scammers aren't slowing down. T-Mobile's Scam Shield technology continues to lead the wireless industry in scam protection, helping to keep customers protected from scams with America's 5G leader."

Changes in Scammer Behavior

Ongoing advancements to T-Mobile's network technology, including machine learning and AI, as well as government intervention have pushed scammers back and helped reduce scam call attempts by 51% in 2023. This decrease in call volume is due to several factors:

  • The broader provider implementation of error code 608, which signifies that the initiated call was blocked by the terminating provider, and therefore, it did not reach the intended recipient. As carriers implemented error code 608, the number of retry calls significantly declined, resulting in a steep decrease in scam calls in 2023.
  • More providers, following T-Mobile’s lead, identifying STIR/SHAKEN calls to combat caller ID spoofing, which accounts for almost 86% of incoming mobile calls.

T-Mobile’s network technology continues to lead the wireless industry in scam protection, prioritizing customer safety, scam prevention and ease of use. By November 2023, Verizon said they blocked 8.2 billion unwanted calls in 2023. In that same period, T-Mobile’s Scam Shield blocked an impressive 17 billion.

Top Techniques from Scammers
Scammers continue to change their tactics with the seasons, continuing to take advantage of seasonal moments including tax season, back to school, open enrollment and the weeks leading up to the holidays, which see the highest influx of scams. Interestingly, Christmas, New Years Eve, Easter and other major holidays saw 97% fewer scam calls than a typical weekday, proving even scammers take time off.

Scammers are always evolving their tactics, year over year as well as seasonally, using consumer cues to target and take advantage. Source: T-Mobile Network Data.

Scammers continue to rely on the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, with repeat tactics that trick unsuspecting customers again and again. Similar to last year, healthcare-related scams (Medicare, health insurance) continued to rise in popularity, accounting for over 40% of all scam attempts followed by financial scams with almost 20% of scam attempts, both of which often target consumers 55 and older.

The holidays continued to be a major target for scammers as they attempt to catch unsuspecting consumers off guard by impersonating popular retailers (Amazon, Walmart) and delivery providers (UPS, FedEx, U.S. Postal Service) to gain financial information.

One outlier from previous years is vehicle warranty scams were nearly nonexistent in 2023, following a 2022 FCC cease-and-desist order to a few telcos (not T-Mobile) against these types of scams.

Target Regions/Demographics
Scammers work regionally, hitting some states harder than others. In 2023, Texas, California, Florida, New York and North Carolina led scam call attempts. Year over year, Texas takes the crown for highest volume of scam calls, especially as it relates to Medicare scams. And overall, fraudsters continue to target adults 55+ with health insurance-related scams.

Hardest hit areas in 2023: Texas - San Antonio, Midland, Lubbock; California - Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona; Florida - Miami, Jacksonville, Boca Raton/Fort Lauderdale; New York - New York City, Rochester, Buffalo; North Carolina - Charlotte, Asheboro/Greensboro, Fayetteville. Source: T-Mobile Network Data.

What’s on the Horizon
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) rapidly evolved in 2023, it led to new advancements for businesses and consumers alike - but along with the pros come significant cautions. As AI technology grows, so do consumer threats with scammers leveraging AI to their advantage. Last year, the industry started to see trends like synthetic voice calls, voice cloning, real-time text-to-voice synthesis and Generative AI. As the industry continues to see a rise in AI as a way to trick unsuspecting victims, T-Mobile continues to evolve, investing in AI technologies to increase network level protection.

"Just as phone and text calls evolve, so do the tools required to combat them. Consumers have a hard enough time trying to discern between legitimate and malicious calls and texts. With the implementation of AI, these scams will continue to increase both in frequency and sophistication. Defending against these scams requires tools to help identify the original sender or, even better, block them from ever reaching the intended target."

Carrie Kerskie, identity theft speaker, author and consultant.

Scam Shield’s Got Your Back
T-Mobile's patented technology protects customers by updating protections every six minutes! Customers who turn on Scam Block will no longer receive "Scam Likely" calls as the call is blocked on the network level. Customers can turn on Scam Block in the Scam Shield app or by simply dialing #662# from a T-Mobile device to stop these calls at the network level. Caller ID and STIR/SHAKEN call verification allow customers to see who is calling and when a call is authenticated by the T-Mobile network.

T-Mobile customers were protected from 19.8 billion scam call attempts in 2023 thanks to T-Mobile's Scam Shield technology. Source: T-Mobile Network Data.

Here’s how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from scams in 2024:

  • Activate free Caller ID to know who is calling.
  • Don't answer any calls from unknown numbers. If the caller is legitimate and trying to reach you, they'll likely leave a message or send a text.
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Any call demanding immediate payment (via gift card or electronic payment) is very suspect.
  • Never reveal personal information, such as your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, passwords or credit card numbers.
  • Don't assume a caller is who they say they are. If you receive a call from somebody representing a company or government agency, hang up and call back via the phone number listed on the official website to confirm its validity.
  • Simply download the free Scam Shield app and toggle on Scam Block (or enable Scam Block by dialing #662# from your T-Mobile device).
  • Use Scam Shield’s premium features to block individual numbers and entire categories of spam calls such as telemarketing or political calls.
  • Report suspicious SMS messages by forwarding the text to 7726.

T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers can download the Scam Shield app for free on the App Store or Google Play and have a dashboard at their fingertips for all Scam Shield tools. With the app, you can turn on Scam Block and check to see which calls have been blocked at any time as well as gain access to Caller ID and other free Scam Shield tools.

This report comes from T-Mobile’s analysis of internal Scam Shield data. Scam Shield is available to T-Mobile customers with qualifying service and a capable device. Turning on Scam Block might block calls you want, and Scam Block can be disabled at any time. For more information on Scam Shield, check out https://www.t-mobile.com/customers/scam-shield.

For more information on how T-Mobile is protecting customers with Scam Shield, head here.

Sigue @TMobileNews en X, antes conocido como Twitter, para estar al día con las últimas novedades de la compañía.


Acerca de T-Mobile
T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) es El Un-carrier superpoderoso de Estados Unidos con una red 4G LTE avanzada y una transformativa red 5G nacional que ofrecerá conectividad confiable para todos. Los clientes de T‑Mobile reciben una calidad inigualable por su dinero, una firme obsesión por ofrecerles la mejor experiencia de servicio posible y un dinamismo indiscutible para disrumpir el mercado y así crear competencia e innovación más allá del ámbito del servicio móvil. Con sede en Bellevue, Washington, T‑Mobile presta servicios a través de sus subsidiarias y opera sus marcas emblemáticas, T‑Mobile, Metro by T‑Mobile y Sprint. For more information please visit: https://www.t-mobile.com

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