U.S. Phones Received Just Under 4.5 Billion Robocalls in August, Says YouMail Robocall Index
Monthly Robocall Volume Jumps 17.4%, As Robocallers Go Back To Work
IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans received just under 4.5 billion robocalls in August, marking a massive 17.4% increase from July, both on a monthly and daily basis. Specifically, August averaged 144.4 million calls/day and 1,672 calls/second, compared to 123.1 million calls/day and 1,424 calls/second in July. This is the highest volume of robocalls in a single month since March 2021.
So far this year, US consumers have received some 32.6 billion robocalls, and the country has continued on a pace to exceed 48 billion robocalls for the year, roughly the same as last year.
"It was unexpected to see such a large jump in robocalls in August, despite all the efforts to address the problem," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "It suggests that there continues to be a need to step up enforcement, improve technology, and see more changes in consumer behavior."
These latest figures are provided by YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app and call protection service for mobile phones. These figures are determined by extrapolating from the robocall traffic attempting to get through to YouMail's millions of active users.
Most Unwanted Robocall in August
August's most unwanted robocall campaign was the same tax scam campaign from July that continues to make tens of millions of robocalls every week from thousands of different numbers. As in this example, the callers are pushing tax debt reduction services. Like many other illegal telemarketing or scam calls, they appear to be violating a variety of telemarketing regulations, as they do not identify the entity making the call, do not provide a call back number, and appear to be calling people who did not give prior consent. Here is the call transcript:
"This is a notification call from our Department of Tax and Financial Settlement Services. The purpose of this call is to inform all US citizens who may owe back taxes about the new back taxes compromise program. This program is part of the American rescue plan put into effect by the new administration and is now open for enrollment. The new compromise program will allow you to significantly reduce or eliminate your back taxes that can now be considered temporarily non-collectible. However, you must select to enroll into the program now it is only open for a limited time. If you have over $10,000 on your back taxes, please press one. If you want us to put your number on our Do Not Call list, please press two."
August 2022 Saw Big Increases In All Robocall Categories
Together, there were roughly 2.3 billion unwanted scam and telemarketing calls in August, up from roughly 1.9 billion in July. This heavy calling volume was driven by a 32% increase in telemarketing calls and an 8% increase in scam calls. However, we also saw a roughly 15% increase in both notifications and payment reminders, the types of robocalls which are generally acceptable to consumers.
It's likely that some calls initially viewed as telemarketing will eventually be recognized as illegal telemarketing or scam calls, so it's important to measure the overall quantity of scam and spam calls combined. A scam call is one that has clearly illegal or fraudulent behavior, such as a call from an enterprise imposter, or one that has a spoofed caller ID. Stir/Shaken continues to reduce the number of robocall campaigns based on spoofed IDs, which drives down the number of obvious scam calls by making them harder to detect, since they appear to be telemarketing campaigns unless there is other evidence of fraud.
"Winners" in August 2022
There were a few changes to the cities, area codes, and states getting the most robocalls. Macon, Georgia, replaced Washington, DC, as the 3rd highest robocalled city, with a 25% increase in robocall volume month over month. Houston's 832 area code jumped ahead of Dallas's 214 area code as the 2nd most robocalled area code. And Tennessee replaced Alabama as the state with the 3rd most robocalls per person, with a 25% increase.
These data points are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail recently won the American Business Awards' Gold Stevie Award for Technical Innovation of the Year, and the YouMail app was named the nation's best robocall-blocking solution in a competition organized by Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post.
YouMail blocks unwanted robocallers by making sure the user's phone doesn't ring, and then plays an out-of-service message that leads them to think they dialed an invalid number. YouMail identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback.
YouMail provides the YouMail Robocall Index to estimate robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every month. This estimate is formed by extrapolating from the behavior of the billions of calls YouMail has handled for its users, and these statistics are regularly cited by the FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.
For a full ranking of cities, states and area codes, as well as details on the behavior of robocallers in each area code, please see http://robocallindex.com. To listen to actual voice messages left by robocallers, please visit the YouMail Directory. To join the YouMail Robocall Index mailing list, please write to [email protected].
About YouMail, Inc.
YouMail protects consumers, enterprises, and carriers from harmful phone calls. YouMail provides US and UK consumers app-based call protection services through the YouMail, Another Number, and HulloMail apps. These solutions answer over a billion live calls per year across well over 10 million registered users, powering America's most robust telephone sensor network in identifying and providing zero-hour protection against illegal calling campaigns and cyberattacks. YouMail Protective Services leverages this sensor network to protect consumer-facing enterprises by detecting and helping shut down imposter traffic that can lead to financial or brand damage, as well as to protect carriers with robocall mitigation services that detect and help stop bad traffic originating, traversing, or terminating on their networks. This sensor network is also used to provide the YouMail Robocall Index™ is the nation's definitive source on telephone network activity and attacks. YouMail, Inc. is privately funded and based in Irvine, California.
Rohan Notaney for YouMail
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SOURCE YouMail Inc.
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