Americans bombarded by 2.2 Billion robocalls in February
March 16, 2017
• 914 robocalls every second of the month
• “We are encouraged by the FCC's increased focus on helping the industry protect consumers”
The “do-not-call” list? They scoff at it. Report their number and they’ll just change it. And prosecute them? It’s ROTF time. These are the sleazeballs behind robocalls and they are getting bolder by the dial tone.
Last month, they were bombarding consumers and businesses with a fusillade of some 2.2 billion robocalls, just as the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to help telecom firms crack down on robocalls at its upcoming meeting on March 23.
The robocall total for February equaled 78.9 million robocalls per day, or 914 robocalls for every second of the month across America. That amount equals an 8 percent daily increase from 73.0 million robocalls received per day in January, or 845 per second.
These estimates are based on the YouMail Robocall Index, which the company says is the nation's first comprehensive guide to compile the scope and location of the worst robocalling hotspots across the country by area code.
"We are encouraged by the FCC's increased focus on helping the industry protect consumers against the ongoing flood of fraudulent robocalls," says YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "We support the widespread rollout of new technologies and policies that will help eliminate the spread of unlawful robocalls."
New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently signaled his intent to give telecommunications companies more power to block spoofed robocalls when callers disguise their phone numbers as coming from other lines.
"There is no reason why any legitimate caller should be spoofing an unassigned or invalid phone number," Mr. Pai wrote in his FCC blog post on March 2. "It's just a way for scammers to evade the law."
Incoming Robocalling "Lowlights" from February
With 96.6 million calls received in February, Atlanta topped the YouMail 50 Most Robocalled Cities list for the 15th straight month, reinforcing its notorious distinction as the country's most robocalled metro area. Atlanta area code 404 ranked as the nation's most robocalled area code by far, with 44.5 million calls received. Two other Atlanta area codes also made the list of the 20 Most Robocalled Area Codes, with area code 678 at #4 and area code 770 at #15.
Seattle, Denver and Buffalo experienced the largest monthly increases in robocall volumes. Seattle gained 8 percent in calls received to rank #23 on the Top 50 Cities list. Denver grew 7 percent in monthly calls to #37, while Buffalo rose 5 percent to #46.
In an ongoing trend, nearly half (42 percent) of all cities on the Top 50 Cities list were based in Southern states. Five of the 20 most robocalled area codes for the month were based in Texas. YouMail says Texas received the most robocalls of any state for the ninth consecutive month, with 254.2 million calls received. Ohio jumped up two spots to rank #7 on the list of Most Robocalled States, with 76.7 million calls received.
In another ongoing trend, 16 of the top 20 robocallers by volume in February came from debt collectors. The types of companies seeking payments included credit card firms, banks, retailers, a cable company and even one of the largest telecom firms.
One national credit card company has held the single most active robocalling phone number for 18 straight months, during which time it has placed a whopping 485.1 million outbound calls.