Robocalls increased by more than ten percent in the month of March to to an estimated 2.4 billion. That’s according to YouMail, which says that’s an average of 79.2 million robocalls per day or 917 robocalls for every second of the month.
“FCC regulators, telecom carriers and tech firms have all expanded their efforts this year to protect consumers and businesses against the plague of robocalls, but this problem continues to grow because it is now so simple and inexpensive to set up spoofed phone lines and place millions of unwanted robocalls,” said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “It’s time to make it much harder for the bad guys to get away with this extremely frustrating and unproductive practice.”
Quilici says YouMail has stopped 500 million robocalls in the past year, and compiled the scope and location of the worst robocalling hot spots across the country by area code. (Atlanta by the way is still the number one city for the most robocalls.)
“Personally, on my home phone, I probably receive 30 a day,” says Tom Stephens with the Better Business Bureau. He says an app on your cell phone may indeed be helpful but he also recommends just not answering that cell phone or landline. “Tje surest way (not to get taken) is not to answer your phone and let it go to voicemail and then you can call them back if you want to,” he told us. “”If you do talk to someone and that is a mistake, but if you do talk to someone on a robocall – do not answer any questions or provide any personal information.”
Quilici told us the continued increase in the automated calls is because of dishonesty. ” A lot of the increase is due to scam robocalls,” he said. “If I’m a scammer, it’s a numbers game – the more numbers I call, the more likely I get ahold of someone I can scam. As robocalls get cheaper and easier to make, the scammers can call more people more quickly.”
Quilici also suggest that people also stop answering calls from numbers they don’t know as well ans using services that try to block as many of these calls as possible.
His company YouMail does seeks to block calls by screening numbers it recognizes as known “Spam or Scam” numbers” and making a crook believe your number is no longer working and or just plan off limits. He says many of the basic features are free.
The Better Business Bureau says it can be annoying that you can’t control what happens on your own phone, but screening calls and not answering calls from area codes you don’t recognize are the best ways to protect yourself and your money.