March 29, 2016 09:00 ET

No Sign of Pesky Robocalls Letting Up for U.S. Consumers

YouMail Reports 2.3 Billion Calls Made by Computerized Auto Dialers in February

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 29, 2016) - If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's a robocall. More than just disruptive and annoying, most robocalls are also illegal. And yet, the massive volume of robocalls made to U.S. phones each month shows no signs of slowing down. According to the latest National Robocall Index™ report released today by YouMail Inc., the leading provider of intelligent voice communications services for consumers and small businesses, an estimated 2.3 billion robocalls were placed to U.S. phones in February. This number is the same that was reported for January 2016, but this time in only 29 days instead of 31 days, and is evidence that U.S. consumers are continually being harassed by illegal spam calls. With tax season upon us, consumers can expect even more spam calls of this type in the weeks ahead, and should be on the lookout for fake calls from the 'IRS.'

February Robocalls by the Numbers: And the 'Winner' Is...
February's Robocall Index indicates that, for the third straight month, Atlanta was by far the most robocalled city in the U.S., with an estimated 101.2 million calls received, or nearly 20 robocalls for every man, woman, and child in the city. The other cities to make the 'Top 5 Most Robocalled Cities in America' list were Chicago (83.8 million), Dallas (82.7 million), Houston (79.0 million), and Los Angeles (71.3 million). Atlanta's area code (404) also took first place in the Top 20 Most Affected Area Codes, with an average of 45.4 million robocalls received during February.

Top Robocalls by Type
As for the most pervasive types of robocalls placed, bank debt collectors and retail debt collectors were the most common types of callers: Bank debt collectors made 54.0 million calls and retail debt collectors made 51.5 million calls. These numbers represent a change from last month's data, which highlighted presidential campaigns as being the most complained-about robocall.

Envisioning a Robocall-Free Future
Not in debt but being hounded by collectors? You aren't free from robocalls. Robocallers can target new victims in a matter of seconds. Many scammers go after tens of thousands of different consumers every day, using a variety of techniques. From spoofing phone numbers (hiding their real number behind the disguise of a local number) to selling their call lists to other robocallers, there really is not a way for phone users to detect incoming calls and block them -- without outside assistance.

Help is here. YouMail is an intelligent answering service that helps consumers and small businesses manage their calls better. It works on Apple iOS and Android-based smartphones, as well as landlines. The service includes a proprietary technology called Smart Blocking™ that detects robocalls, including those generated by spoofing systems, and tricks those callers into thinking that the subscriber's number has been disconnected. The robocaller can't leave a voicemail, and those robocalls stop coming in as the subscriber gets removed from the company (or scammer's) call lists. It's more effective than using the "block" function on an iPhone or "reject" list on an Android phone because it convinces the caller to think the number is disconnected. That "block" is only associated with one phone number -- robocallers just try again from another number or a spoofed caller ID. YouMail subscribers get taken off lists completely, and they don't get called again by the same company or any group of companies or scammers sharing the same lists of active and inactive phone numbers.

Do Your Part
Everyone can do their part to keep phones free from robocalls. Start by sharing the Robocall Index with friends and family to spread awareness of the problem and help them understand which calls to stop answering. Then go to the YouMail Directory and report spam numbers that YouMail will take note of and block -- just search for any phone number in the Directory and you can report it as spam.

About YouMail's National Robocall Index
Despite the pervasiveness of robocalls, there has been no definitive data made available that gives consumers or lawmakers a sense for how big the problem really is -- until YouMail created the Robocall Index. YouMail's Robocall Index is a free monthly report that tracks robocall volumes across the U.S. The report highlights the top phone numbers robocalls are placed from, the most robocalled cities, and the most common types of robocalls. The data is based on callers blocked and/or reported as spam by millions of YouMail subscribers nationwide, and on YouMail's algorithms for detecting automatically dialed calls. Having answered billions and billions of calls for its users, YouMail is uniquely positioned to aggregate this call data for the Robocall Index.

About YouMail, Inc.
YouMail, Inc. is the leading provider of intelligent, cloud-based telecommunication services. The company's flagship service provides a digital personal receptionist that replaces the subscriber's voicemail on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. Headquartered in Irvine, California, YouMail, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is privately funded.

Contact Information

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