T-Mobile says scam calls are up 116%, but so is automatic blocking

T-Mobile Scam Shield app
T-Mobile Scam Shield app (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • In 2021, T-Mobile's Scam Shield blocked 21 billion scam calls, an increase of 116%.
  • Fake vehicle warranties were the number one call type with 51% of scam calls.
  • Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia were the top states for scam calls, with Dallas/Fort Worth receiving the most calls of any metro area.

T-Mobile has released its 2021 Scam and Robocall Report, which shows a remarkable increase in the number of attempted scam phone calls. This report features data about calls blocked using T-Mobile's Scam Shield app available to all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers.

The report notes that scam calls dropped off during the quarantine in 2020 but picked up steam in 2021. January was the lightest month, with 1.1 billion calls identified as Scam Likely. The volume of scam calls increased throughout the year, with 2.5 billion calls recognized in November. It was also recognized that calls dropped off on weekends and holidays with an 80% drop on the weekend.

T-Mobile has identified that fake vehicle warranties were the number one scam type with a massive 51% of calls. The Social Security office was 10%, wireless providers were 9%, car insurance providers were 6%, and package delivery was 4%. At least calls are expected to fall off significantly beginning on December 23.

If you're looking to stay protected, you can download the Scam Shield app for Android and iOS on the Play Store or App Store. Many of the best Android phones purchased directly from T-Mobile will already have the app installed on the phone. Sprint customers using a T-Mobile SIM can also use the app, while other Sprint customers can use the Sprint Call Screener app. This feature is one of the factors that helps T-Mobile plans to be some of the best cell phone plans you can get.

It's also worth keeping in mind that AT&T and Verizon have similar apps with Call Protect and Call Filter, respectively. Other MVNOs like Google Fi also feature call blocking, and finally, some phone manufacturers like Samsung include blocking in their default call apps. Thanks to carriers adopting the STIR/SHAKEN protocol, improved call blocking has been enabled across the board. In fact, T-Mobile has been 100% compliant since June of 2021.

Samuel Contreras

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.