IRVINE, Calif., February 18, 2016 – Americans were plagued by an estimated 2.3 billion robocalls in the month of January, marking a 54.7% month-over-month increase in the number of robocalls, roughly tripling the number of robocalls received since November 2015 and breaking a new monthly record for the nation’s robocall volume.
This record-setting mark of 2.3 billion robocalls – equaling 858 robocalls placed every second – comes from the latest National Robocall Index™report released today by YouMail, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent voice communications services for consumers and small businesses.
The Robocall Index is a free monthly report that tracks robocall volumes across the U.S. The data is based on calls blocked and/or reported as spam by millions of YouMail subscribers nationwide. Having answered billions of calls for its users, YouMail uses algorithms to detect any automatically dialed calls and then aggregates that call data into the Robocall Index.
Robocalling “Lowlights” from January 2015
Atlanta was by far the most robocalled city in the U.S. for the second straight month, with an estimated 99.6 million calls received in January. That total included 20 million more robocalls than second-ranked Dallas, which received 79.6 million calls last month. Rounding out the “Top 5 Most Robocalled Cities in America” were Chicago (77.9 million), Houston (74.6 million) and New York City (66.3 million).
Atlanta also topped the list for the “40 Most Robocalled Area Codes Per Capita” with 36 calls received per person on average during January in the 404 area code, or more than one robocall per day. The top five “Most Robocalled Area Codes” also included Baton Rouge 225 (31 calls per capita),Washington, D.C. 202 (25 calls per capita), Memphis 901 (20 calls per capita) and Macon, Georgia, 478 (19 calls per capita).
For the third straight month, Columbus, Ohio, was the city where the most non-toll free robocalls originated, with 71.6 million robocalls made in January. One credit card debt collector held onto the top spot as the nation’s most prolific robocaller, with 34.7 million robocalls placed – more than twice as many as the second-ranked robocaller, a catalog debt collector with 15.6 million calls made. In fact, 18 of the “Top 20 Robocallers by Volume” in January were debt collectors of some kind.
Of the “50 Most Robocalled Cities in America,” 22 cities were based in southern states or in Texas. Seven of the Top 50 cities were based in California, with four of those locations ranking in the Top 20. YouMail suggests that the Robocall Index may serve as a potential economic indicator for different metro areas due to its high correlation with payment reminders and debt collections.
Political Robocall Season Kicks into High Gear
The Presidential campaign may have generated a noticeable increase in robocalls leading up to the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary election in January. Robocalls to Iowans rose 46% to 10.2 million calls received in January. Robocalls to New Hampshire voters spiked 55% to 6.4 million robocalls received in January.
Leading up to the South Carolina primaries, Charleston, S.C., and Columbia, S.C., each jumped 12 spots on the “Most Robocalled Cities in America” list. Robocalls were up 79% in Charleston to 17.4 million calls in January, while the robocall volume increased by 83% in Columbia to 19.6 million robocalls received in January.
Current Policies Highlight Need for Blocking Technologies
Robocallers can place thousands of calls in seconds from overseas dialers outside of FCC jurisdiction, and many switch phone numbers daily or hourly. A resolution passed by the FCC in June gave the FCC greater authority to fine spammers and spoofers, and it allows telephone carriers to offer robocall-blocking services to customers.
“To really solve a problem, you first need to measure it so you can track progress,” said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “Our YouMail Robocall Index gives policymakers and everyday Americans a much clearer picture of the enormous scope and rampant growth of this insidious problem.”
YouMail is an intelligent answering service that helps consumers and small businesses manage their calls better. It works on Apple iOS and Android-based smartphones as well as landlines. The service includes a proprietary technology called Smart Blocking™ that detects robocalls, including those generated by spoofing systems, and tricks those callers into thinking that the subscriber’s number has been disconnected. The robocaller can’t leave a voicemail, and those robocalls stop coming in as the subscriber gets removed from the company (or scammer’s) call lists. It’s more effective than using the “block” function on an iPhone or “reject” list on an Android phone because it convinces the caller to think the number is disconnected. That “block” is only associated with one phone number – robocallers just try again from another number or a spoofed caller ID. YouMail subscribers get taken off lists completely, and they don’t get called again by the same company.
For more information about the YouMail Robocall Index or to view the latest report, please visit: http://www.youmail.com/phone-lookup/robocall-index.To join the YouMail Robocall Index mailing list, please write to: RobocallIndex@YouMail.com.
About YouMail, Inc.
YouMail, Inc. is the leading provider of intelligent, cloud-based telecommunication services. The company’s flagship service provides a digital personal receptionist that replaces the subscriber’s voicemail on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., YouMail, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is privately funded.