U.S. Phones Were Hit by More Than 50 Billion Robocalls in 2021, Says YouMail Robocall Index

Consumers and Businesses Received 3.6 Billion Robocalls in December Alone

Americans received 50.5 billion robocalls in 2021, a 14% lower volume than the peak year of 2019, with over 58 billion robocalls, but approximately 10% higher than 2020, with 45.9 billion robocalls.

Annual Nationwide Robocall Volume

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In December 2021, Americans received just under 3.6 billion robocalls, a 13% decline from November, and the fewest calls for any month since June 2020. In December, robocalls averaged 115.1 calls/day and 1,332 calls/second versus November, in which robocalls averaged 137.4 million calls/day and 1,590 calls/second, down 16% on a daily basis. This decline was driven by a big drop in the last few weeks of the month, as the robocallers appeared to have taken time off for the holiday season.

These latest figures are provided by YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app and call protection service for mobile phones. These figures are determined by extrapolating from the robocall traffic attempting to get through to YouMail’s millions of active users.

“The good news is that monthly robocalls continue to be on a lower plateau since the STIR/SHAKEN rollout on June 30th,” said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “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.”

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Spam and Scam Calls Continue as A Large Percentage of Calls

In December, the number of scam calls decreased by 4%, while telemarketing calls decreased 18%, payment reminders decreased 18%, and alerts and reminders decreased 11%. While all types of calls decreased over the holidays, scam calls decreased the least, as it appears that scam robocallers took little time off.

Type of

Robocall

Estimated December

Robocalls

Percentage December
Robocalls

Scams

1.3 billion (-4%)

37% (+4%)

Alerts and Reminders

1.1 billion (-11%)

30% (+2%) 

Payment Reminders

0.58 billion (-18%)

16% (=2%)

Telemarketing

0.62 billion (-18%)

17% (-4%)

Overall for the year, the scam category topped the list with almost 30 billion scam or spam calls, or just under 60% of all calls, a very substantial number of likely unwanted calls.

 

Type of

Robocall

Estimated 2021

Robocalls

Percentage 2021
Robocalls

Scams

21.4 billion

42%

Alerts and Reminders

13.1 billion

26%

Payment Reminders

7.4 billion

15%

Telemarketing

8.6 billion

17%

“Winners” in December 2021

In December, the same cities, area codes, and states that have had the most robocalls in recent months continued to do, though the numbers of calls were significantly lower than in past months.

Cities with the Most Robocalls:

Atlanta, GA (143.7 million, -10%)

Dallas, TX (130.6 million, -10%)

Chicago, IL (112.6 million, -12%)

Cities with the Most Robocalls/Person:

Baton Rouge, LA (30.1/person, -10%)

Memphis, TN (28.5/person, -11%)

Washington, DC (26.6/person, -11%)

Area Codes with the Most Robocalls:

404 in Atlanta, GA (60.9 million, -10%)

214 in Dallas, TX (49.3 million, -10%)

832 in Houston, TX (47.7 million, -14%)

Area Codes with the Most Robocalls/Person:

404 in Atlanta, GA (49.8/person, -10%)

225 in Baton Rouge, LA (30.1/person, -10%)

901 in Memphis, TN (28.5/person, -11%)

State with the Most Robocalls:

Texas (422.4 million, -15%)

California (332.1 million, -9%)

Florida (279.6m, -14%)

State with the Most Robocalls/Person:

South Carolina (20.5/person, -15%)

Tennessee (20.2/person, -15%)

Louisiana (20.2/person, -11%)

 

Marketing Technology News: Approximately 4.1 Billion Robocalls Received in November, Says YouMail Robocall Index

These data points are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail recently 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.

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