They’re back in force. After apparently taking a break for the holidays, robocallers returned full-time to work in January, slamming homes like yours all across America with a total of almost 4 billion calls.Read More »
Across the nation, the callers bombarded homes at an average rate of 126.3 million a day or 1,462 every second. The figures translate to an average of 12 calls per person during the month, although some areas received as many as 50 calls per person.
Not all bad news
Take heart. The situation is not all bad. A slice of good news lies behind those high numbers. Although they grew in January from the lower rate in December, robocalls actually have been trending downward for the past several months. Indeed, the average number of calls over the last few months is almost 1 billion calls a month lower than the peak in March 2021, says Alex Quilic, CEO of YouMail.
He says that the fall in the average number of calls has come in the wake of the rollout on June 20, 2021 of STIR/SHAKEN, a technology that helps to ensure the authenticity of a call.
Unwanted calls are slightly down
More good news is that the percentage of unwelcome calls decreased in January. Scam calls were down by 4%. Payment reminder and telemarketing calls stayed flat, for the most part. Together they have declined to a little more than half of all robocalls.
Calls that YouMail says are generally welcomed, such as alerts and reminders, made up the rest of the calls.
Most unwanted call
The robocall campaign that was the most unwanted during the month was a pitch that purported to offer DirecTV at a discount, says YouMail. The campaign is believed to have been the source of as many as 100 million robocalls during January.
The caller said the message was from AT&T Direct TV to let the person answering the telephone know that their account was qualified for a discount of half off. The person was asked to call back at 866-862-8401 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time. Different caller IDs were used, but the same callback number was used in all the calls, YouMail says.
The state of Georgia and the city of Baton Rouge in Louisiana in particular earned the dubious privileges of being most targeted by robocallers in certain categories. In one category—that of the cities with the most robocalls per person—the city of Macon, Georgia even replaced Washington, D.C. in third place on the list. Its area code, 225, was second in line when it came to area codes with the most robocalls on a per-person basis.
Here is a more detailed look at how robocallers went to work during January. The percentages are the increases from December. The figures were compiled by YouMail.
Here are the cities that received most robocalls during the month:
• Atlanta, Georgia—151 million, up 5%
• Dallas, Texas—141 million, up 8%
• Chicago, Illinois—123.9 million, up 10%.
Most-hit cities per person
These are the cities that received the most robocalls when measured on a per-person basis:
• Baton Route, Louisiana—32.9 per person, up 9%
• Memphis, Tennessee—32 per person, up 12%
• Macon, Georgia—29.2 per person, up 16%
Here are the states that were slammed with the most robocalls overall:
• Texas—460.5 million, up 9%
• California (356.5 million, up 7%
• Florida—311.7 million, up 11%
Most-hit states per person
States that were hardest hit on a per-person basis were:
• South Carolina—23.1 per person, up 13%
• Tennessee—22.2 per person, up 10%
• Louisiana—22 per person, up 9%.
Most-hit area codes
These are the area codes that received the most robocalls in January when measured on a per-person basis:
• 404 in Atlanta, Georgia—52.2 per person, up 5%
• 225 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana—32.9 per person, up 9%
• 901 in Memphis, Tennessee—32 per person, up 10%.