Robocall

Robocalls increased 1.7% in May compared to the previous month, with nearly 4.5 billion calls made during the month, according to a new report from YouMail, which provides app-based call protection services. At least part of the increase is attributed to May having one additional day than April.

The positive news is that even though there was this slight increase in robocalls in May, volume is still 11.7% lower than the same month last year. Additionally, there have been seven consecutive months of year-over-year declines and six consecutive months with fewer than 150 million robocalls per day.

Last month averaged 144.5 million robocalls per day and 1,673 robocalls per second, down 1.6% from April’s average.

Many robocalls, such as appointment reminders from medical providers, are legitimate. The issue with robocalls is the high level of unwanted calls. After April’s 73% spike in scam calls, those calls were down almost 10% in May. Telemarketing calls were up nearly 8% in May.

The most challenging robocalling campaigns in May were related to loans and debt reduction, according to YouMail. One such call left a pre-recorded message that claimed the person answering the phone can immediately fund a loan for $36,000.

There are more than 20 million of this type of call, which violates telemarketing sales rules, each month. The calls use a constantly changing set of different phone numbers and slight variants on the core message. According to YouMail, these calls ask for significant upfront fees and personal information and then provide no actual financial loans.

Scam calls and telemarketing calls combined continue to be roughly 2.3 billion calls per month, slightly more than half of all robocalls. Scam calls are trending at slightly lower levels than a year ago, and substantially lower than in previous years.

Part of the decline can likely be attributed to FCC efforts to block spam calls.

“Robocall volume continues to be fairly steady, despite minor month-to-month fluctuations,” Alex Quilici, YouMail CEO, said in a prepared statement. “This feels like considerable progress, with calls down to a significantly lower level than they were even a year ago.”

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