October Was a Record Robocall Month
November 09, 2018
By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC
If you thought Halloween was scary last month, listen to this. In October, people in the U.S. got a record 5.1 billion robocalls.
That’s the first time robocalls have surpassed 5 billion in a month since YouMail (News - Alert) Robocall Index began tracking this space in 2015. The October 2018 robocalls were more than double those in January, reports YouMail, which offers a call-blocking app.
“Every time we think the robocall epidemic has peaked, it turns out it hasn’t,” says YouMail CEO Alex Quilici (News - Alert). “Carriers, call-blocking apps like YouMail, and consumers all have critical roles to play in finally making inroads to stopping this troubling problem.”
An estimated 42 percent (or 912 million) of the calls were scams, according to YouMail. The largest share of those (499.8 million) were health and health insurance scams. The other two largest scam robocalls in October 2018 were easy money (144.4 million) and interest rate (132.3 million) scams.
Meanwhile, 23 percent of the October robocalls were payment reminders. Eighteen percent were telemarketing calls. And 17 percent were alerts and reminders.
Atlanta draws the distinction of the city that got the most robocalls in October, with its 404 number being the area code with the most calls per person. Washington, D.C., had the most robocalls per person that month. Texas was the state with the most robocalls, while Louisiana had the most robocalls per person.
The Federal Communications Commission has long railed against the problem of robocalls. And FCC (News - Alert) Chairman Ajit Pai this week reiterated the problem of illegal robocalls, saying that combating them “is our top consumer priority at the FCC.”
Pai added that if consumers don’t begin to see robocall identification capabilities on their phones by this time next year “we will take action to make sure that it does.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle