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More than 4 billion robocalls in May set new record

Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach see 50 % increase in spam calls

ORLANDO, Fla. – Americans received more than 4 billion robocalls in May, setting a record for unwanted calls, according to a new survey by YouMail, a free robocall blocking option for mobile phones.

Analysts said the unwanted calls crossed “a new threshold" for the nation’s robocalling phenomenon, setting the stage for  the third straight month of record-setting robocalls.

According to YouMail’s Robocall Index, the 4.06 billion robocalls received last month marked a 55 percent increase in calling volumes over May of last year, or roughly 130.9 million calls for each day of the month, or 1,516 calls received every second. 

YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said the calls keep coming because con artists are making easy money and they just keep trying until they get a hit.

“They didn’t get your phone number, they’re just dialing for dollars in sequence,” Quilici said. “I think (the increase) is in part because consumers are getting smarter, they’re not answering the phone and that’s creating a paradoxical side effect of the robocallers calling more to try to get through.”

Quilici said Americans have already received 16.2 billion robocalls in the first five months of 2018, an increase of more than 25 percent from the 12 billion robocalls in the same period last year. In addition, each of the 50 Most Robocalled Cities in America recorded increases of 12 percent or more over the previous month’s record-setting results from April.

What’s driving this increase?

Quilici said May saw a huge increase in “legitimate alerts, reminder calls and telemarketing calls.” These two categories of robocalls increased much faster than the overall growth in robocalls as a whole.

“It’s sad,” Quilici said, “but the phone call now appears to be in a slow-motion death spiral.” 

What cities receive the most robocalls?

The biggest “mover” cities on the Top 50 list for May included  No. 14 Fort Lauderdale, up 31 percent, and No. 44 West Palm Beach, up 27 percent. Orlando was up 30 percent, keeping it in the middle of the pack of most-called cities.

Who made the most robocalls?

For the first time since the YouMail Robocall Index was launched in 2015, 12 cities each placed more than 50 million robocalls in a single month. Chicago “extended its streak as the city that generates the most monthly robocalls by placing 115.1 million calls in May, followed by Los Angeles (110.6 million), and New York (106.4 million)."

California topped the list of states making the most robocalls, with some 333.2 million calls placed. Other leading states included Texas (290.9 million), Florida (247.5 million), New York (214.0 million) and Georgia (123.9 million).

For more information about the YouMail Robocall Index or to view the latest report, click here.

To join the YouMail Robocall Index mailing list, email RobocallIndex@YouMail.com.


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