The leaves have started to fall, the days have became noticeably shorter, and the temperatures have cooled off a bit from the summer heat in September, but the same cannot necessarily be said about robocalls.
In September, Americans received 4.2 billion robocalls. While that is a 6.2% decrease from August on a monthly basis and a 3.1% decrease, there was a holiday weekend and one fewer day in the month, compared to August. Allowing for some degree of error, that puts September on roughly the same level as August in terms of robocall volume. September averaged 139.9 million calls per day and 1,619 calls per second, compared to 144.4. million calls per day and 1,672 calls per second in August.
Of those calls, YouMail reported around 2.1 billion unwanted scam and telemarketing calls in September, down roughly 200 million from August. The decrease is welcoming especially after August's surge. Scam and spam robocalls made up roughly 50% of all call volume with payment reminders and other notifications making up the other half.
Out of the scam robocalls, the same tax scam campaign that’s been prevalent for months was the most unwanted robocall. The caller says they are from the Department of Tax and Financial Settlement Services, and the purpose of this call is to inform all U.S. citizens who may owe back taxes about the new back taxes compromise program – or so the scam caller claims. That campaign made over 50 million robocalls in September from thousands of different numbers.
What it shows is there is an ongoing need to step up enforcement, improve technology and see more changes in consumer behavior is still there.
Consumers can help by being more cautious and not answering calls from unfamiliar numbers, and not returning missed calls from those unknown numbers. Even though STIR/SHAKEN protocols did reduce the number of robocalls that are based on spoofed IDs, consumers will continue to receive calls with bad intentions.
Consumers also have the option to download software or third-party apps that automatically block robocalls. YouMail (News - Alert), for example, 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.
As Americans brace for colder weather in the middle of the fall season, that does not mean they should cool off their defenses and awareness when it comes to robocalls, which YouMail predicts will exceed 49 billion for the year.
Edited by Erik Linask