Nationwide Robocall Volume Spikes 13% Over July After Several Month Lull
IRVINE, CA – September 6, 2023 – U.S. consumers received just under 5.1 billion robocalls in August, representing a 13.1% increase from July’s volume and roughly the same volume as May before a two month decline in June and July.
August averaged 163.8 million robocalls/day and 1,896 robocalls/second, up 13.1% from July’s average of 144.9 million robocalls/day and 1,677 robocalls/second.
“August’s big pop suggests that not only have the robocallers returned from summer vacation, but they are also starting to figure out how to work around the new regulations requiring all smaller carriers and gateways to support Stir/Shaken,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “It’s an obvious disappointment that robocalls still remain at these high levels.”
These latest figures are provided by YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app and call protection service for mobile phones. The figures are determined by extrapolating from the robocall traffic attempting to get through to YouMail’s millions of active users.
Most Unwanted Robocall in August: Google Search Listing Scam
August’s most unwanted robocalls were the Google Search Listing-related scam calls, which increased from a pace of 30 to 40 million calls/month to a pace between 60 and 70 million calls/month. These calls appear to be targeting potential business owners with a scam based on threatening to pull their business listings from Google like in this example.
“Hello and please don’t hang up. We tried to contact you numerous times about your Google business listing. Our records show your Google business listing may be suspended or not verified through Google cost customers are able to find your business press one to speak with a listing pro expert. So we can quickly check the status of your Google business listing. This will only take a few minutes. Press nine if you wish to be removed from this list.”
In August, these calls appeared to have come from tens of thousands of different numbers. This call is a scam and is related to other similar Google Listing scam calls that have been made all year long, but with what appears to be increasing volumes as the months go by.
Given the rapid increase in volume over the past few months, it appears that these scam calls are likely getting good results for the scammers. Going forward, these scam calls will likely work increasingly well as Apple’s Live Voicemail starts to roll out. We would expect more and more iPhone users to fall for this particular scam, as seeing the live transcription of these calls will create a sense of urgency to press one and talk to the scammers, as many business owners use iPhones and rely on Google search traffic.
August’s Unwanted Call Volume Spiked Significantly
Americans received over 2 billion unwanted scam and telemarketing calls in August, up over 300 million calls from July. This was primarily driven by a 25% decrease in spam calls, and a 17% increase in telemarketing calls. Notifications and payment reminder also significantly increased during the month.
Some calls initially viewed as telemarketing are eventually identified as illegal telemarketing or scam calls, so it’s important to measure the overall quantity of scam and spam calls combined. A scam call is one that contains clearly illegal or fraudulent behavior, such as a call from an enterprise imposter, or one that has a spoofed caller ID. Stir/Shaken mandated deployment by June 30th appears to have materially reduced the number of robocall campaigns based on spoofed IDs, which drives down the number of obvious scam calls by making them harder to detect, since they appear to be telemarketing campaigns unless there is other evidence of fraud.
“Winners” in August 2023
The top cities, area codes, and states with the most robocalls and robocalls/person remained mostly unchanged from June. The only exception was Tennessee replacing Alabama as the #3 most robocalled state per capita.
These data points are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail won the American Business Awards’ Gold Stevie Award for Technical Innovation of the Year, and the YouMail app was named the nation’s best robocall-blocking solution in a competition organized by Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post.
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 robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every 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 FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.
For a full ranking of cities, states and area codes, as well as details on the behavior of robocallers in each area code, please see http://robocallindex.com. To listen to actual voice messages left by robocallers, please visit the YouMail Directory. To join the YouMail Robocall Index mailing list, please write to RobocallIndex@YouMail.com.
About YouMail Inc.
YouMail protects consumers, enterprises, and carriers from harmful phone calls. YouMail provides US and UK consumers app-based call protection services through the YouMail, Another Number, and HulloMail apps. These solutions answer over a billion live calls per year across well over 10 million registered users, powering America’s most robust telephone sensor network in identifying and providing zero-hour protection against illegal calling campaigns and cyberattacks. YouMail Protective Services leverages this sensor network to protect consumer-facing enterprises by detecting and helping shut down imposter traffic that can lead to financial or brand damage, as well as to protect carriers with robocall mitigation services that detect and help stop bad traffic originating, traversing, or terminating on their networks. This sensor network is also used to provide the YouMail Robocall Index™ is the nation’s definitive source on telephone network activity and attacks. YouMail, Inc. is privately funded and based in Irvine, California.