U.S. Robocalls Surge 43 Percent; One Billion Calls in November — Mostly from Debt Collectors

U.S. Robocalls Surge 43 Percent; One Billion Calls in November -- Mostly from Debt CollectorsAre robocalls a thing of the past? Don’t bet on it.

In fact, an estimated 980.8 million robocalls were placed to U.S. phones in the month of November. That was a 43 percent sequential increase in the nation’s monthly robocall volume, according to a report from YouMail, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent voice communications services for consumers and small businesses.

YouMail compiled the report, called the “National Robocall Index.”

“The Robocall Index is a free monthly report that tracks robocall volumes across the U.S.,” a report summary shared with MMW reads. “The data is based on callers blocked and/or reported as spam by millions of YouMail subscribers nationwide.”

Pity the poor New Yorkers. For the third straight month, New York City was the nation’s most robocalled city.

“New York received 45.5 million robocalls in November, marking a 24 percent monthly decrease from October,” noted the summary. “The other Top Five most robocalled cities in November were Atlanta (42.1 million), Los Angeles (38.8 million), Houston (29.7 million), and Dallas-Fort Worth (29.3 million). Houston and Dallas have also ranked in the Top Five most robocalled cities for three straight months.”

Want to blame the birthplace of robocalling? You could pick on Columbus, Ohio (40.7 million calls placed and leader for the past three months).

And who’s driving the calling?

“A major credit card company topped the robocall list for the third month in a row, with some 37.6 million calls made,” according to the report. “The second most aggressive robodialer was a company trying to collect on student loans. In fact, 15 of the Top 20 robocallers in November were debt collectors of some kind.”

Other prolific robocallers included scammers who targeted unsuspecting consumers to accept charges from a “friend” in prison; a cable company sales call; a federal health insurance provider; and numerous telemarketers.

Robocalls have been a major public concern for decades, but legislative attempts to curtail them, including the 2003 National Do-Not-Call Registry, have been largely ineffective.

“To really solve a problem, you first need to measure it so you can track progress,” said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “The hundreds of thousands of complaints about robocalls just scratch the surface, as our YouMail Robocall Index shows there are many hundreds of millions of robocalls made every month. It’s a huge time drain on American productivity at best, and continually leads to fraud and crimes committed against unsuspecting citizens.”