50% of the time, Americans won’t answer their cellphones

…for good reason.

❝ A big takeaway from a report released Tuesday by Hiya, a Seattle-based spam-monitoring service that analyzed activity from 450,000 users of its app to determine the scope of unwanted robo-calling — and how phone users react when they receive an automated call.

Consistent with other analyses, Hiya’s report found that the number of robo-calls is on the rise. Roughly 26.3 billion robo-calls were placed to U.S. phone numbers last year, Hiya said, up from 18 billion in 2017. One report last year projected that as many as half of all cellphone calls in 2019 could be spam.

❝ This month, T-Mobile said it would soon begin activating a technical protocol known as SHAKEN/STIR, a type of caller authentication that follows the same principles as website encryption. Other carriers including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have also committed to implementing the feature. Endorsed by the FCC, the new protocol is part of an industry-wide push to limit the effects of caller-ID spoofing, which is when a spammer poses as a caller from a nearby area code in an effort to trick recipients into picking up the phone.

So, we can hope.

[1] I doubt the Feds are doing a fraction of what they might to stop spam phone calls. What’s their incentive? They don’t care a rat’s ass about consumers to begin with. Except keep us the primary source of tax dollars.

[2] Yup. I never answer my cellphone unless I see an ID from someone I care to talk to! More likely, I’ll wait for a recorded message that verifies who is calling.