Robocalls threaten people’s privacy and tarnish the reputation of the telecoms industry by subjecting subscribers to unwanted and intrusive telemarketing and scam practices. In 2021, American customers received an estimated 50,507,702,500 robocalls, which is nearly 10% more than the 45.9 billion robocalls received in 2020.
YouMail, a free robocall prevention program and call protection service for mobile phones, provided the most recent statistics.
Americans received nearly 3.6 billion robocalls in December 2021 alone, with an average of 115.1 million calls each day and 1,332 calls every second. Scam calls declined by 4% in December, while telemarketing calls decreased by 18%, payment reminders decreased by 18%, and alerts and reminders decreased by 11%. On the whole, the scam category topped the list for the year, accounting for about 30 billion scam or spam calls, or slightly under 60% of all calls, a sizable amount of presumably unwelcome calls. While all types of calls reduced over the holidays, scam calls declined the least, since scam robocallers appear to have taken minimal vacation.
YouMail CEO Alex Quilici, commented: “The good news is that monthly robocalls continue to be on a lower plateau since the STIR/SHAKEN rollout on June 30th. The bad news is that total robocalls still exceeded 50 billion for the year, which is roughly 200 robocalls this year for every adult with a phone.”
Here are several methods to tell if an incoming call is a robocall:
- You receive an automated phone call from a corporation to which you did not grant permission to contact you.
- A pre-recorded message instructs you to press “1” or another button to be removed from the call list.
- The message offers goods or services for free or at a suspiciously large discount.
- The notice says you owe taxes or have unpaid bills and could face legal or financial consequences if you do not pay right away.
- The message says you have won a big lottery and instructs you to press a key or call the number to collect your prize.
- The caller says you are specially selected for an offer.
- You are told you will get a free bonus if you buy their product.
- The caller proposes a low-risk investment deal and offers a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
- The caller says you have to make an immediate decision.
If you want to learn how to identify and combat robocalls, see our article: Best ways to fight robocalls.