Despite moves by the FCC, the number of robocalls remains constant and remains huge, according to YouMail.
The company, which offers a mobile app that guards against robocalls, says that consumers in the U.S. received a bit more than 4.5 billion robocalls in January, which is about midway between the 4.2 billion and 4.7 billion calls per month that consumers have been getting since last August. It was about 200 million more than in December. The estimates were extrapolated from those received by YouMail customers, which the company says number in the millions.
January was the fourth month in a row that the top robocall was related to medical compensation from Camp Lejeune. These calls are averaging 100,000,000 per month and come from tens of thousands of different numbers, YouMail says. Interestingly, some of the calls follow the law in terms of content. They all are unsolicited, however.
The company tracks four types of calls. Notifications accounted for about 1.52 billion, which was an increase of 4% compared to December but a decrease of 1% of its percentage of the total for the month. Payment reminders totaled 1.1 billion (+4%, -1%), telemarketing totaled 1.24 billion (+9%, +2%) and scams totaled .66 billion (+15%, flat).
The report identified “winning” locales: Atlanta was the city with the most robocalls (179.9 million, an increase of 3% compared to December); Texas had the most of any state (533.9 million, an increase of 6%) and Louisiana had the most per person (28.8, an increase of 7%).
“The big picture continues to be that the robocall volume in the US isn’t really changing, despite month- to-month variations, and despite stepped up enforcement efforts and the roll out of STIR/SHAKEN,” YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said in a press release. “It feels like recent mitigation efforts aren’t yet making a material dent in robocall volume overall, though we can see a trend toward fewer scam calls. It’s clear that consumers continue to need to protect themselves with robocall blocking apps like YouMail, since this problem is remarkably stubborn.”
This is not the first time YouMail has warned of the Camp Lejeune robocall. It did so in December when it reported that 4.7 billion robocalls were received in November.
The FCC’s main weapon against robocalls is the STIR/SHAKEN anti-caller ID spoofing framework. In August 2021, RoboKiller said STIR/SHAKEN may have contributed to a decline in robocalls. And indeed, the current 4.5 million-robocall January estimate from YouMail is lower than the 5.7 billion reported by RoboKiller back in August 2021.
So perhaps STIR/SHAKEN has helped somewhat in eradicating robocalls. But clearly there is more work to do on that front.