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US consumers received 5 billion robocalls in March

U.S. consumers received just under 5 billion robocalls in March, exceeding the range of 4.2 billion to 4.7 billion calls per month we have seen since last August, and hitting the highest levels since November 2019. The March volume marked a 15% increase from February’s volume.

“March’s increase in robocall volume is disappointing, as we’ve been expecting the call volumes to start to decline, given the significant enforcement efforts and in-network call blocking now done by the carriers,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “Consumers still need to protect themselves with robocall blocking apps like YouMail because the problem is not magically going away.”

These latest figures are provided by YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app and call protection service for mobile phones. The figures are determined by extrapolating from the robocall traffic attempting to get through to YouMail’s millions of active users.

Most Unwanted Robocall in March: Health Insurance Telemarketing
The most unwanted robocall campaign for the second straight month is a telemarketing call that appears to be selling low-cost health insurance. The calls leave the identical voicemail message from “Kelly from Support First,” as in this example:

Hi this is Kelly with Support First calling about your free or subsidized Health Insurance. Please call me back toll free at 844-306-0130 to see if you qualify and again that’s 844-306-0130. Call now.

This call comes from tens of thousands of different numbers, and it appears to be exceeding 50 million calls/month and violating various telemarketing regulations, as well as calling people who did not give prior consent.

March’s Unwanted Call Volume Was Up Significantly
Americans received over 2.2 billion unwanted scam and telemarketing calls in March, up over 20% and 400 million calls from February. Notification and payment reminders increased slightly, roughly in line with February due to March having three additional days.

Some calls initially viewed as telemarketing are eventually recognized as illegal telemarketing or scam calls, so it’s important to measure the overall quantity of scam and spam calls combined. A scam call is one that contains clearly illegal or fraudulent behavior, such as a call from an enterprise imposter, or one that has a spoofed caller ID. Stir/Shaken continues to reduce the number of robocall campaigns based on spoofed IDs, which drives down the number of obvious scam calls by making them harder to detect, since they appear to be telemarketing campaigns unless there is other evidence of fraud.

CT Bureau

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