Phone Call

More than 4.6 billion robocalls were received by U.S. consumers in October, a 7.9 percent increase from September. The total continued a pattern of between about 4.5 billion and 5 billion such calls per month, according to YouMail.

Though within the general range, the total — which breaks down to 149 million robocalls per day and 1,721 per second — represented an increase after a dip in September.

YouMail, which provides a free robocall blocking app through which it extrapolates its findings, said that the leading unwanted robocall in October was “sketchy charity solicitations.” Those and other robocalls take advantage of Apple’s Live Voicemail transcription, which YouMail said creates a “real sense of urgency” that makes it more likely that the target will seek more information.

“October’s increase comes as a small surprise following a large drop in calls from telemarketers over the previous month,” YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said in a press release. “We need to follow the trendlines to determine if call volumes will continue to fluctuate, or whether we have reached a period of steadily growing illegal calls as we enter the holiday season.”

Notification robocalls were up 11.2 percent and represented one-third of the total. They were followed by scams (28 percent of total), payment reminders (25 percent of total), and telemarketing (10 percent of total).

A decline in scam calls (down 47.2 percent month-over-month) was reported to be largely the result of the Google Listing scam campaign dropping in volume and a “massive” reduction in COVID tax credit calls, YouMail said.

Some October highlights:

  • Cities with the most robocalls: Atlanta (181.0 million, up 19 percent); Dallas (174.7 million, up 17 percent), and Chicago (151.8 million, up 18 percent).
  • Cities with the most robocalls per person: Baton Rouge, La. (48.5), Memphis, Tenn. (38.9) and Washington, D.C. (35.4).
  • Area codes with the most robocalls: 404 (Atlanta), 832 (Houston) and 214 (Dallas).
  • States with the most robocalls: Texas, California and Florida.

In a related story, Robokiller recently reported a decline in robocalls during the first half of 2023, but found that robotexts were on the rise.

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