5 Billion Robocalls in February Alone

February was a “good news, bad news” month for robocalls. The good news: the total number of robocalls received nationwide in February was approximately 4.9 billion, down from an all-time high of 5.2 billion robocalls in January. The bad news: this volume equaled 174.9 million robocalls placed every day during February, and a record 2,024 robocalls for every second of the month. These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a free robocall blocking solution for mobile phones.

“The robocall problem shows no signs of letting up, as there continue to be more and more robocalls every day,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “This is despite regulators, carriers, and others all working hard to try to make a dent in the problem.”

Robocalls Continue to Be Driven by Scams

Despite the shorter month of February, scam robocalls increased significantly to 2.27 million calls, or over 80 million per day, and scams now account for at least 46% of all robocalls.

Type of Robocall

Estimated Feb. Robocalls

Percentage of Feb. Robocalls

Alerts and Reminders

1.02 billion (-7 million)

21% (+0%)

Payment Reminders

885 million (-83 million)

18% (-1%)

Telemarketing

733 million (-205 million)

15% (-2%)

Scams

2.277 million (+61 million)

46% (+3%) 

February volumes held steady for the Top 5 Robocall Scams, which remained similar to the January figures. The Top 5 Robocall Scams include Health/Health Insurance scams, Interest Rate Scams, Easy Money Scams, Student Loan Scams, and Search Listing Scams. The big changes in the Top 5 involved the Easy Money Scams moving up to #3, and Student Loans scams dropping to #4.

Top 5 Scam Robocalls of February 2019

Rank

Type of Scam

Estimated Feb. Robocalls

Summary of Scam

1

Health/Health Insurance Scams

474.7m (+12.5 million)

Identify theft/scam payments

2

Interest Rate Scams

172.3m (+8.2 million)

Identify theft

3 (+1)

Easy Money Scams

131.9m (+10.2 million)

Pay to make money/get job

4 (-1)

Student Loan Scans

118.8m (-12.5 million)

Identify theft/scam payments

5

Search Listing Scams

100.1m (+.6 million)

Fake search listing fees

“Winners” in February 2019

The cities, area codes and states with the highest volumes of robocalls in February were very similar to the trends for January. Areas in the South continued to receive the most robocalls in February, just as they did for all of 2018.

Atlanta, GA, once again topped the list of cities with the most robocalls with 200.1 million robocalls received, while residents in Baton Rouge, LA, received 53 calls per person.

City with the Most Robocalls:

Atlanta, GA (200.1 million)

City with the Most Robocalls/Person:

Baton Rouge, LA (53/person)

Area Code with the Most Robocalls:

404 in Atlanta, GA (87.8 million)

Area Code with the Most Robocalls/Person:

404 in Atlanta, GA (72/person)

State with the Most Robocalls:

Texas (552 million)

State with the Most Robocalls/Person:

Louisiana (32.5/person)

This data is provided by YouMail, a free robocall blocking app for mobile phones. YouMail blocks unwanted robocallers by making sure the user’s phone doesn’t ring, and then plays an out-of-service message that leads them to think they dialed an invalid number. YouMail identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback.

YouMail provides the YouMail Robocall Index to estimate the robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes each month. This estimate is formed by extrapolating from the behavior of the billions of calls YouMail has handled for its users, and these statistics are regularly cited by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a definitive source for national data trends.

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