IRVINE, Calif., March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. consumers and businesses were inundated by an estimated 2.2 billion robocalls in February, just as the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to help telecom firms crack down on robocalls at its upcoming Open Meeting on March 23rd.
The robocall total for February equaled 78.9 million robocalls per day, or 914 robocalls for every second of the month across America. That amount equals an 8% daily increase from 73.0 million robocalls received per day in January, or 845 per second. These estimates are based on the YouMail Robocall Index™, the nation's first comprehensive guide to compile the scope and location of the worst robocalling hotspots across the country by area code.
"We are encouraged by the FCC's increased focus on helping the industry protect consumers against the ongoing flood of fraudulent robocalls," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "We support the widespread rollout of new technologies and policies that will help eliminate the spread of unlawful robocalls. In the meantime, there are immediate robocall-blocking solutions are available to consumers from companies like ours."
New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently signaled his intent to give telecommunications companies more power to block spoofed robocalls when callers disguise their phone numbers as coming from other lines.
"There is no reason why any legitimate caller should be spoofing an unassigned or invalid phone number," Pai wrote in his FCC blog post on March 2nd. "It's just a way for scammers to evade the law."
Inbound Robocalling "Lowlights" from February
With 96.6 million calls received in February, Atlanta topped the YouMail 50 Most Robocalled Cities list for the 15th straight month, reinforcing its notorious distinction as the country's most robocalled metro area. Atlanta area code 404 ranked as the nation's most robocalled area code by far, with 44.5 million calls received. Two other Atlanta area codes also made the list of the 20 Most Robocalled Area Codes, with area code 678 at #4 and area code 770 at #15.
Seattle, Denver and Buffalo experienced the largest monthly increases in robocall volumes. Seattle gained 8% in calls received to rank #23 on the Top 50 Cities list. Denver grew 7% in monthly calls to #37, while Buffalo rose 5% to #46.
In an ongoing trend, nearly half (42%) of all cities on the Top 50 Cities list were based in Southern states. Five of the 20 most robocalled area codes for the month were based in Texas. In fact, Texas received the most robocalls of any state for the ninth consecutive month, with 254.2 million calls received. Ohio jumped up two spots to rank #7 on the list of Most Robocalled States, with 76.7 million calls received.
Outbound Robocalling "Lowlights" from February
Eight U.S. cities increased their outbound robocall outputs by 10% or more in February. Los Angeles surpassed Dallas to reclaim the top spot as the city generating the most monthly robocalls. L.A. placed some 66.2 million robocalls, compared to 57.2 million for Dallas.
Washington, D.C. rocketed up 32% month-on-month to 25.8 million calls placed, while Miami rose 26% to 21.6 million calls placed.
Area code 614 in Columbus, Ohio, held onto its spot as the area code making the most robocalls nationwide with 25.9 million calls placed, followed closely by Washington, D.C. area code 202 (25.8 million) and Atlanta area code 404 (25.5 million).
In another ongoing trend, 16 of the top 20 robocallers by volume in February came from debt collectors. The types of companies seeking payments included credit card firms, banks, retailers, a cable company and even one of the largest telecom firms.
One national credit card company has held the single most active robocalling phone number for 18 straight months, during which time it has placed a whopping 485.1 million outbound calls.
For more information about the YouMail Robocall Index or to view the latest report, please visit: http://robocallindex.com. To join the YouMail Robocall Index mailing list, please write to: RobocallIndex@YouMail.com.
About YouMail, Inc.
YouMail, Inc. is the leading provider of intelligent, cloud-based telecommunication services. The company's flagship service provides an automated virtual receptionist that replaces the subscriber's voicemail on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. This service stops robocalls, provides free conference calls, and delights callers by instantly greeting, routing, and responding to callers, personally and memorably. YouMail also provides data on problematic phone number behavior, through a reverse phone lookup service that allows anyone to identify and comment on suspicious numbers, an application program interface (API) that any telecom service provider or third-party developer can use to determine whether a number is problematic, and the YouMail Robocall Index™, which since its launch in in September 2015 has emerged as the nation's definitive source on robocalling data for telecom carriers, smartphone and app companies, and public policymakers. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., YouMail, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is privately funded.
Matt Russell for YouMail
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SOURCE YouMail, Inc.