IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans received just under 4.6 billion robocalls in December, a 19% decrease from October's all-time monthly record of nearly 5.7 billion robocalls. This decline continues the trend seen in November, likely due to the holiday break and widely publicized enforcement actions. Despite this decline, U.S. consumers still received roughly 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019.
The month of December averaged over 147 million robocalls per day, or 1,705 robocalls per second. These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app for mobile phones.
"It's nice to see over 1 billion fewer calls in December than October's record," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "We're rooting for this decline to continue, though historically we've seen declines like these followed by even greater peaks."
President Trump signed an anti-robocall bill on December 31, 2019, designed to help reduce the number of unwanted robocalls going forward, but this bill had no impact in 2019.
December Decline Is About Fewer Unwanted Robocalls
December saw spam and telemarketing calls decline dramatically, by 16% and 17% respectively, while other, generally legal, robocalls were mostly flat. This was good news in that it resulted in nearly 500 million fewer unwanted calls in the month.
Type of Robocall
1.94 billion (-16%)
Alerts and Reminders
1.13 billion (+3%)
979 million (+1%)
513 million (-17%)
Top Scam Robocalls in December 2019
In December, four types of scams exceeded 100 million calls each, with huge declines in Health-Related Scams (-28%) and Student Loan Scams (-15%).
Type of Scam
Estimated December Robocalls
Summary of Scam
Identity theft/scam payments/illegal solicitations
Interest Rate Scams
Identify theft/financial scams
Social Security Scams
Identify theft/scam payments
Illegal solicitations/scam payments
Student Loan Scams
Identify theft/scam payments
The top 5 specific annoying telemarketing and/or scam calls that people received in the U.S. during December continued to be related to illegal lead generation for health insurance, scams around lowered interest rates, and illegal lead generation for debt reduction schemes. Remarkably, the single leading robocall campaign in December had almost 200 million fewer calls, which by itself accounted for nearly half of the decline in the robocall volume for the month.
"Winners" in December 2020
The cities, area codes and states with the highest volumes of robocalls in December were similar to the past three months, though each experienced decreased volumes.
City with the Most Robocalls:
Atlanta, GA (181.9 million, -9%)
City with the Most Robocalls/Person:
Washington, DC (46.3/person, -8%)
Area Code with the Most Robocalls:
404 in Atlanta, GA (77.9 million, -9%)
Area Code with the Most Robocalls/Person:
404 in Atlanta, GA (63.7/person, -8%)
State with the Most Robocalls:
Texas (511/4 million, -12%)
State with the Most Robocalls/Person:
Louisiana (28.3/person, -5%)
These data are provided by YouMail, a free robocall blocking 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.
For a full ranking of cities, states and area codes, as well as details on the behavior of robocallers in each area code, please see http://robocallindex.com. To listen to actual voice messages left by robocallers, please visit the YouMail Directory. To join the YouMail Robocall Index mailing list, please write to RobocallIndex@YouMail.com.
About YouMail, Inc.
YouMail, Inc. provides imaginative, intelligent, cloud-based telecommunication services. These include its free app-based service to block robocalls, and its premium call management services for people who use their mobile phones for business. YouMail's services free users from limitations of their mobile phone or carrier – protecting against unwanted calls, helping them handle high volumes of mobile calls, unifying virtual numbers with their cell number, and providing personalized answering experiences for their callers. YouMail has stopped over a billion robocalls, has given hundreds of millions of callers the experience they deserve, and has delighted millions of users. The YouMail Robocall Index™, since its launch in in September 2015, has emerged as the nation's definitive source on robocalling data for telecom carriers, smartphone and app companies, and public policymakers. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., YouMail, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is privately funded.
Rohan Notaney for YouMail