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5.23 Billion Robocalls Set Record in March, According to YouMail Robocall Index

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Robocalls Volumes Stay at Record Levels, Despite Best Efforts by Regulators and Carriers

Americans suffered an all-time high of 5.23 billion robocalls in March, setting a new monthly record. This volume equaled 168.8 robocalls per day in March, and 1,953 robocalls per second, which was down slightly from the shorter month of February (which had 174.9 million robocalls placed every day and 2,024 robocalls every second). These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a free robocall blocking solution for mobile phones.

“The robocall epidemic shows no signs of letting up, and consumers are growing frustrated as this problem continues,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “The only good news is the robocall volume is only up 2% overall since we first hit 5 billion calls per month last October.”

Recent attempts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress to address this vast consumer problem include the new SHAKEN/STIR rule for industry stakeholders to implement policies to create caller ID authentications. In addition, major carriers have rolled out new apps to block robocalls due to a growing consumer backlash. Yet despite such well-intentioned efforts, the problem continues to grow because it remains so simple and inexpensive to blast massive volumes of robocalls nationwide within a very short period of time.

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Robocalls Continue to Be Driven by Scams

Scam robocalls continued their rise in March by increasing to just under 2.5 billion, making up nearly half of all U.S. robocalls.

Type of Robocall

Estimated March Robocalls

Percentage of March Robocalls

Alerts and Reminders

1.04 billion (+20 million)

20% (+0%)

Payment Reminders

892 million (+7 million)

17% (-1%)

Telemarketing

806 million (+73 million)

15% (+0%)

Scams

2.277 million (+61 million)

48% (+1%) 

Top 5 Robocall Scams had similar volumes compared to February. The Top 5 Robocall Scams for March included Health/Health Insurance Scams, Easy Money Scams, Interest Rate Scams, Student Loan Scams, and Search Listing Scams. The big change in the Top 5 involved Easy Money Scams moving up to second place, and increasing by over 90 million calls in a single month.

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Top 5 Scam Robocalls of March 2019

Rank

Type of Scam

Estimated March Robocalls

Summary of Scam

1

Health/Health Insurance 
Scams

564.2m (+89.5 million)

Identify theft/scam payments

2 (+1)

Easy Money Scams

229.7m (+89.8 million)

Pay to make money/get job

3 (-1)

Interest Rate Scams

172.3m (~flat)

Identify theft

4

Student Loan Scans

123.3m (+4.4 million)

Identify theft/scam payments

5

Search Listing Scams

116.3m (+16.2 million)

Fake search listing fees

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“Winners” in March 2019

The cities, area codes and states with the highest volumes of robocalls in March were identical to January and February. Areas in the South continued to receive the most robocalls in 2019, just as they did for all of 2018.

City with the Most Robocalls:

Atlanta, GA (207.9 million)

City with the Most Robocalls/Person:

Baton Rouge, LA (55.5/person)

Area Code with the Most Robocalls:

404 in Atlanta, GA (89.1 million)

Area Code with the Most Robocalls/Person:

404 in Atlanta, GA (72.9/person)

State with the Most Robocalls:

Texas (601.4 million)

State with the Most Robocalls/Person:

Louisiana (35.2/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 of 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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