On Thursday, the telecom service YouMail launched something called the National Robocall Index, which tracks both legal and illegal monthly robocall traffic throughout the country. Among the disturbing findings released in the initial study:
• Roughly 1 out of 6 calls received nowadays by the average consumer is a robocall—meaning a call with a computer-generated message rather than a real live person on the line.
• 683 million robocalls were placed in the U.S. in October. Disturbingly, that huge number actually represents a decrease of 21% compared with September.
• New York City residents receive the most robocalls in the nation—60 million in October, more than double that of Chicago and nearly four times as many as San Francisco.
• Nearly 9 million robocalls were placed in October from a single phone number—in the 262 area code in southeastern Wisconsin—the highest in the nation.
• Among the top five most frequent kinds of robocalls is a scam that attempts to dupe people into paying high connection fees in order to bail someone out of prison. (The overall top category of robocalls is one originating from a debt collector.)
Earlier this year, the FCC approved a package that will make it easier for consumers to block robocalls directly via their phone service provider. But based on the information above, clearly the battle against robocalls has a long way to go.