Almost a third of all mobile phone calls are scams, and by next year that number will likely rise to almost half, according to a recent study by mobile technology firm First Orion. That could have serious consequences for credit union branches and call centers that want to call their members.

The Little Rock, Ark.-based company, which said it analyzed over 50 billion calls made in the past 18 months, reported that in 2017 just 3.7% of mobile calls were scam calls. In 2018, that number jumped to 29.2%, First Orion said; it projected that by early 2019 the number will reach a whopping 44.6%.

“Year after year, the scam call epidemic bombards consumers at record-breaking levels, surpassing the previous year and scammers increasingly invade our privacy at new extremes,” First Orion CEO and Head Data Scientist Charles D. Morgan said. “Recently, the FCC joined forces with several technology companies, including First Orion, to find a way to combat these calls, but we still see rampant increases.”

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Tina Orem


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