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US phones received 4 billion robocalls in May

Americans received just under 4 billion robocalls in May, tracking with the average monthly volume so far this year and keeping 2022 on pace to hit 48 billion robocalls for the full year. This monthly call volume marked a 1.2% decrease from April. Because May has one more day than April, robocalls were actually down 3.2% on a daily basis, which is not surprising given the Memorial Day holiday. Specifically, May averaged 127.2 million calls/day and 1,472 calls/second, compared to 131.4 million calls/day and 1,521 calls/second in April. This robocall volume was also almost identical to the volume one year ago, in May 2021.

“Robocall volumes are fairly stable so far this year, which is good news,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “However, we see signs that robocallers are changing their techniques and we would not be surprised to see a steady increase in volume going forward.”

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

Most Unwanted Robocall in May
May’s most unwanted robocall campaign is estimated to have been the source of tens of millions of robocalls from tens of thousands of different numbers. As in this example, the callers appear to be selling health insurance marketplace policies and appear to be violating a variety of telemarketing regulations, as they do not identify themselves, do not provide a call back number, and appear to be calling people who did not give prior consent. Here is the call transcript:

Hello this is our final attempt to reach you to be qualify for assistance that helps pay for your health insurance through the marketplace. The government-issued emergency order reopening the health insurance marketplace and in most cases your monthly premium will be from one dollar to $20 per month. Please press zero now to be transferred to a license agent. If we have reached you in error please press nine now to be removed.

May 2022 Saw Significant Changes in Robocall Composition
In May, the number of unwanted spam calls shrank dramatically, while at the same time telemarketing calls jumped significantly. Overall, there were still over 2 billion likely unwanted calls in May, suggesting that roughly half of all robocalls are still problematic.

“Winners” in May 2022
The high-volume cities, area codes, and states in May were mostly similar to past months, and they bucked the national trend by having a steady increase in volume. However, Washington, DC joined the top three cities with the most robocalls per person, supplanting Macon, Georgia. The 214 area code in Dallas replaced the 832 area code in Houston as the second most robocalled area code.

These data points are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail recently won the American Business Awards’ Gold Stevie Award for Technical Innovation of the Year, and the YouMail app was named the nation’s best robocall-blocking solution in a competition organized by Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post.

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 robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every 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 FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.

CT Bureau

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