CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - In 2019, close to half of all the calls to your cell phone will be scams.
That is according to First Orion, one of several companies that is providing call blocking technology to protect against the rise in scams.
This study projects a spike in incoming cell phone spam calls going from about 30 percent of your total calls this year to 45 percent in the beginning of 2019.
Eric Ralls of Anna-Jonesboro, Illinois finds spam call annoying and says the number he gets on his cell phone has ramped up this year.
“It used to be you’d get one of these occasionally and it seems like now they are up to five, six a day,” Ralls said. “Some of them even go to a threatening level saying they will take you to jail and get a warrant so I can see where that is going to be a major problem. I think a lot of people fall prey to this, especially the elderly.”
Regional Director Whitney Quick with the Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau says it impacts people of all ages, really anyone who owns a cellphone.
They’ve got your telephone number and chances are you’ve answered a phone call so you’ve been added to a list," Quick said.
With the increase Quick says it’s more important stay on gaurd and says your best defensive play is to answer with the phone with “Hello”, then be silent and then hang up if it becomes suspicious.
“Make sure you know who you are talking to on the phone and if you don’t maybe don’t answer it. Because if it is really important they are going to leave a message,” Quick said.
Phone apps Engage Calling with First Orion or RoboKiller also promise to block a majority of your unwanted calls.
The RoboKiller app has more than a million blocked numbers in it's database and has an answer bot feature that the company says can frustrate scammers and discourage them from calling you back.
Quick says you can always do more to protect your phone and information.
"Make sure that your name and your phone number are on the Do Not Call registry, Quick said. “Also check with your phone provider and see if they offer any apps that do block these, so just be very cautious of what you answer, and who you talk to, and don't give out any personal information."
Most of the application have a free trail and then start requiring a few bucks a month. You can do something similar for free by going to your recent calls list and blocking individual numbers that scammers have called you on.