Even though mobile calls have been a popular invention, they also become an increasingly popular tool among criminals. A new report shows nearly half of cell phone calls in the US will be a scam by 2019. A very worrisome statistic, which also has major cryptocurrency-related implications.
Beware of Cell Phone Call Scams
It is quite interesting to note how technology with positive consequences often leads to an increase in criminal activity. In the case of cell phone calls, that trend is quickly growing out of proportion. Just a few years ago, 3.7% of all US-based cell phone calls were a scam. That number itself is quite worrisome. To make matters worse, it rose to 29.2% in 2018. This further confirms criminals see mobile calls as a valuable and viable tool.
Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of a further evolution. The report by First Orion claims close to 45% of all US cell phone calls in 2018 will have scam implications. It is unclear which opportunities criminals are pursuing exactly, but consumers need to be wary of any mobile call they receive in this day and age. Especially if it is an unknown number, not picking up remains the most viable course of action.
This criminal trend doesn’t just encompass unknown numbers either. Even if the number of a friend or relative is on the screen, there is a very real chance their number has either been spoofed or taken over by criminals for nefarious purposes. It is evident there are a lot of opportunities for criminals when it comes to cell phone calls, yet there are very few countermeasures in place to protect consumers.
Some of the worrisome trends in this regard pertain to robocalls, scam calls, and caller ID spoofing. Despite First Orion collaborating with the US’ largest cell phone providers, it is very difficult to come up with protective measures. T-Mobile lists potentially fraudulent calls as “Scam Likely”, which is a small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it seems he scammers are already on to this trend and will come up with new solutions accordingly.
For cryptocurrency users, this trend can also have major implications. Numerous Bitcoin holders have had their mobile numbers hijacked by scammers to empty their exchange wallets. It now seems they may soon be on the receiving end of scam calls in a new attempt to defraud cryptocurrency holders. Not picking up your mobile phone is an antisocial countermeasure, yet it will also keep one safe from this particular threat until things improve.
Scammers will always find ways to make money and cause havoc. This latest trend is not something one can solve with new regulation or banning mobile communications altogether. It is a very serious problem which needs to be addressed carefully. An in-network carrier solution is needed, although it may take years until such a countermeasure is ready for use on a large scale.