August Records Highest Robocall Tally Since 2021

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  September 14, 2022

"This confidential message is to inform you that you have a legal matter pending to be filed against you within the next 24 hours.”

“Hello, we’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.” 

Every phone owner in America recognizes these calls. Because of them – and countless others – America remains on track to exceed 48 billion robocalls for 2022.

August showed no signs of robocalls slowing down as it recorded the highest volume in a single month since March 2021. Americans received close to 4.5 billion robocalls in August, a 17.4% increase from July on a monthly and daily basis, according to the YouMail Robocall Index. August averaged 144.4 million calls per day and 1,672 calls per second.

Unwanted scam and telemarketing calls also increased, reaching about 2.3 billion in August, up from 1.9 billion in July. The call volume was driven by a 32% increase in telemarketing calls and an 8% increase in scam calls. There was a 15% increase in notifications and payment reminders, but these calls are largely acceptable to consumers. 

On one hand, the continued increase is surprising, considering the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN among carriers.  On the other, the telecom community has been keenly aware that, despite progress, much work is still to be done before consumers will notice a major slowdown in unwanted robocalls.

The most unwanted robocall campaign for August was the same tax scam campaign from July that makes tens of millions of robocalls every week from thousands of different numbers. The scam campaign presents similarly to a notification call from the Department of Tax and Financial Settlement Services informing U.S. citizens who owe back taxes, citing the new back taxes compromise program.

The callers do not identify the entity making the call, do not provide a call back number and call people who did not give prior consent – all sure signs they are scams.

"It was unexpected to see such a large jump in robocalls in August, despite all the efforts to address the problem," said YouMail (News - Alert) 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."

Phone (News - Alert) users cannot be encouraged enough to install call protection apps or software to help slow down the amount of robocalls received. YouMail, as an example, identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns and consumer feedback for free.

Edited by Erik Linask