LOCAL NEWS

Phone spam and scams: how location makes a difference

May 19, 2022, 7:53 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Robocalls, phone scams and unsolicited calls from someone trying to sell you something may feel constant, but it turns out in Utah – they are a little less constant compared to other parts of the country.

“It’s just a plague on society,” said Ben Treanor. “I can’t tell you how many times you know, I hear my phone vibrate.”

Treanor works for the website Time2play, which has been investigating junk calls and agreed to share their data with the KSL Investigators.

Their research found U.S. residents receive an average 3.7 scam calls per day. But surprisingly, the numbers were all over the map depending on, well, where you are on the map. For example, in Pennsylvania, they are getting bombarded every five hours. In New Mexico, it is closer to once per day. Utahns get fewer than the national average, about two-and-a-half calls per day.

“It’s hard to say why some states receive more or less calls than others,” said Treanor.

Meanwhile in Orem, Sandra Mangum says she constantly screens calls and that has her missing some important ones.

“It was taking over my life,” she said. “It was overtaking my whole life to the point that I couldn’t decide even to answer the phone.”

Time2play’s data shows she is in good company — 91% of folks no longer answer calls from unknown, blocked, or unfamiliar numbers. As for the various apps on the market that claim to reduce robocalls? Treanor said most people who have downloaded them say they do not think they work.

“Disappointingly, only 27% say it (call blocking app) has truly made a difference,” he said.

According to TrueCaller, which tracks scam calls all over the world, nearly one-in-three Americans said they fell victim to phone scams last year. The average loss was $502. That is up $151 dollars compared to the year before.

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Phone spam and scams: how location makes a difference