IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- An estimated 1.45 billion robocalls were placed to U.S. phones in the month of December, marking a 48.5% sequential increase in the nation's monthly robocall volume and the first time on record that the national robocall volume has exceeded 1 billion monthly calls.
Top 50 Most Robocalled Cities List (Dec. 2015): http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/ENR/323149-YouMail-50-Most-Robocalled-Cities.pdf
This surprising figure comes from the latest National Robocall Index™ report released today by YouMail, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent voice communications services for consumers and small businesses.
The Robocall Index is a free monthly report that tracks robocall volumes across the U.S. The data is based on callers blocked and/or reported as spam by millions of YouMail subscribers nationwide and on YouMail's algorithms for detecting automatically dialed calls. Having answered billions and billions of calls for its users, YouMail is uniquely positioned to aggregate this call data for the Robocall Index.
December Robocalling Highlights
New York City was knocked out of the top spot for the "Most Robocalled Cities in America" list for the first time since the Index was launched in September 2015. Atlanta took the dubious honor of Most Robocalled City for December with an estimated 59.8 million robocalls received, followed by Chicago (50.0 million), Dallas (48.9 million), Houston (45.1 million) and Los Angeles (42.8 million).
Two Atlanta area codes, 404 and 678, made the Top 3 Most Robocalled Area Codes in America. St. Louis jumped up the most of any city in December, rising 18 spots in the rankings to 27th Most Robocalled City with 12.3 million calls received.
For the second straight month, Columbus, Ohio was the city where the most robocalls appeared to have originated, with 66.8 million calls placed in December. Four of the Top 20 robocallers from non-toll free area codes originated in the state of Texas, including Dallas 972 and 469, and Houston 713 and 832.
A major credit card company topped the robocall list for the fourth month in a row, with some 45.6 million calls made in December. The second most aggressive robodialer was a retailer trying to collect on debts. In fact, 15 of the Top 20 robocallers in November were debt or loan collectors of some kind.
YouMail suggests that the Robocall Index could potentially serve as an economic indicator for different metro areas due to its high correlation with payment reminders and debt collections. The Index revealed that 16 of the Top 20 Most Robocalled Area Codes in December were in Southern states or Texas.
The Political Aspect of Robocalling
In addition to debt collections, political speech was another big source of robocalls in December. Healthcare.gov made the list for the second month in a row, presumably trying to get people signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
December also marked the first significant jump in robocalls made to Iowa and New Hampshire as the political season shifted into high gear. Robocalls into New Hampshire rose 70% month-over-month to an estimated 4.1 million calls among 1.3 million residents. Calls to Iowa were up 72% to 13.9 million calls among 3.1 million residents.
Ineffective Policies Create Need for Blocking Technologies
Robocallers can place thousands of calls in seconds from overseas dialers outside of FCC jurisdiction, and many switch phone numbers daily or hourly. A resolution passed by the FCC in June gave the FCC greater authority to fine spammers and spoofers, and it allows telephone carriers to offer robocall-blocking services to customers.
"To really solve a problem, you first need to measure it so you can track progress," said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. "Our YouMail Robocall Index shows there are over a billion robocalls made every month, and that number of robocalls has nearly doubled over the past three months. It's a huge time drain on American productivity, continually leads to fraud and crimes committed against unsuspecting citizens, and now appears to be rapidly getting worse."
YouMail is an automated personal receptionist that helps consumers and small businesses manage their calls better. It works on Apple iOS and Android-based smartphones as well as landlines. The service includes a proprietary technology called Smart Blocking™ that detects robocalls, including those generated by spoofing systems, and tricks those callers into thinking that the subscriber's number has been disconnected. The robocaller can't leave a voicemail, and those robocalls stop coming in as the subscriber gets removed from the company (or scammer's) call lists. It's more effective than using the "block" function on an iPhone or "reject" list on an Android phone because it convinces the caller to think the number is disconnected. That "block" is only associated with one phone number – robocallers just try again from another number or a spoofed caller ID. YouMail subscribers get taken off lists completely, and they don't get called again by the same company.
For more information about the YouMail Robocall Index or to view the latest report, please visit: http://www.youmail.com/phone-lookup/robocall-index. 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 a digital personal receptionist that replaces the subscriber's voicemail on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., YouMail, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is privately funded.
Liana Hawes for YouMail
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J. Bonasia for YouMail
SOURCE YouMail, Inc.