IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- American consumers and businesses were overwhelmed by an estimated 29.3 billion robocalls in 2016, based on the YouMail Robocall Index™, the nation's first comprehensive guide that compiles the scope and location of the worst robocalling hotspots across the country by area code.
This news marks the first time that any source has tracked the nation's collective robocall problem over an entire calendar year. In 2016:
- U.S. phones were inundated by an estimated 2.4 billion monthly robocalls, which equals 79.6 million daily robocalls on average, or 921 robocalls for every second of the year.
- Five major cities were blitzed by more than 1 billion robocalls each, including Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Chicago and Houston.
- The 15 most egregious robocalling numbers for the year were controlled by debt collectors for banks, phone companies, cable firms or retailers.
- The country's single most active robocalling line was controlled by a bank debt collector that placed some 306.2 million calls.
- Columbus, Ohio, earned the dubious distinction as the American city placing the most robocalls for the full year, with some 771.3 million outbound calls made in 2016.
YouMail provides iPhone and Android apps that act like an automated virtual assistant to replace the mobile voicemail service of its users. As a result, the YouMail service has answered billions of calls for its users, providing a wealth of data on the bad behavior of robocallers. YouMail uses algorithms to detect any automatically dialed calls, blocks them by playing an "out of service" message, and then aggregates that calling data to create the YouMail Robocall Index™.
"YouMail's first-ever detailed snapshot of robocalling activity across the country for an entire year highlights the staggering extent of this problem," said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. "That problem could have been considerably worse, if not for YouMail stopping nearly 500 million robocalls from being made to its users over the past year. We're glad that we're making a real difference in helping consumers fight back."
Monthly Robocalling Snapshot for December
U.S. phones were hit by an estimated 2.3 billion robocalls in December, a decrease of 1.4% over November but a 60% increase over the same month one year ago. That pace equals 75.2 million calls made per day on average, or 871 robocalls placed every second during the month.
Atlanta received more than 102 million robocalls in December, marking the 13th straight month that the city has topped the YouMail 50 Most Robocalled Cities in America™ list. In addition, three Atlanta area codes made the list of 20 Most-Robocalled Area Codes in December, with Atlanta's 404 area code ranked #1 nationwide based on 46.5 million calls received.
Pittsburgh jumped 11 spots from #55 to #44 on the Most Robocalled Cities list in December, based on an 11% monthly increase to 16.1 million calls received in December. Other cities posting notable increases for December included #2 Dallas (up 8% over November), #7 Baltimore (+5%), #12 Phoenix (+5%), #36 Austin, TX (+5%), and #46 West Palm Beach, FL (+5%).
Texas – where everything is bigger – got socked by the most statewide robocalls in America for the seventh consecutive month, with 283.1 million calls received. More than one-third of cities (38%) on the 50 Most Robocalled Cities in America list for December were based in the South. Fort Lauderdale's 954 area code rose two spots to #5 on the Most Robocalled Area Codes list, with 25.9 million calls received. Other high-ranking area codes in the South included Memphis 901 (#10), Charlotte 704 (#11), Columbia, SC 803 (#18), and Orlando 407 (#19).
Inbound Robocalling "Lowlights" from December
Atlanta continued its reign as America's #1 Most Robocalled City for the 13th month in a row, receiving 102 million robocalls in December. Atlanta area code 404 also continued to rank as the most robocalled area code per capita, with 46.6 million calls received, or 38 calls for each person on average.
Residents in 12 cities received robocalls at least every other day in December. Those metro areas included Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Memphis, Little Rock, AR, Macon, GA, New Orleans, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Birmingham and Houston.
Outbound Robocalling "Lowlights" from December
Los Angeles maintained its position as the city generating the most monthly robocalls, with an estimated 59.4 million calls placed in December. Dallas, Columbus and Phoenix also placed more than 50 million robocalls each in December. Columbus posted the biggest jump in outbound calls for the month, with 27% more calls in December versus November. Other big gainers included Phoenix (up 25% month over month), Dallas (up 11%) and San Francisco (up 11%).
Texas made the most robocalls in December, with 186.7 million calls placed. Arizona had the biggest statewide increase in outbound robocalls during December with 51 million calls placed, a 21% monthly gain over November. Other states showing big increases in their monthly robocall output included Ohio (up 10% to 102.4 million calls) and California (up 9% to 183.9 million calls).
Houston was the only city with three area codes ranking in the Top 20 Robocalling Area Codes, including the Houston 832 area code (#11), 281 area code (#13) and 713 area code (#15). Dallas also had two area codes reaching the Top 20 list, including area code 469 (#10) and 214 (#19).
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.