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2019: The Year of the Robocall

Despite a couple of good months, 2019 turned out much worse than people thought when it came to robocalls

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Photo (c) filo - Getty Images
According to the YouMail Robocall Index, there were 58.5 billion robocalls in 2019, marking a 22 percent increase over 2018 and a troublesome 92 percent hike over 2017. Nearly half of those were scam-related come-ons. 

“It’s no wonder that (TRACED) an anti-robocall bill passed Congress overwhelmingly and was signed by the President on December 31, 2019,” said Alex Qulici, YouMail CEO, when pointing to the two-year flood of calls.

How do we robo thee? Let us count the ways…

Here’s how 2019 went down by category:

Type of Robocall

Estimated 2019 Robocalls

Percentage of all 2019 Robocalls

Scams

25.9 billion

44 percent

Alerts and Reminders

13.0 billion

22 percent

Financial Reminders

11.4 billion

21 percent

Telemarketing

8.0 billion

14 percent

The Robocall-a-Day Club

Qulici suggests that the best way to measure the pain of robocalls is to analyze how many each person gets on average. His findings show two states were in the robocall-a-day club -- Washington, D.C., with 599 robocalls per person over the year, and Louisiana, with 371.

If you live in Alaska, consider yourself lucky. Residents in the 50th state got fewer than one robocall a week. However, Qulici says that it’s not a lack of love from robocallers in Alaska’s case, but merely the number of folks they can prey on. 

The number of robocalls made to a particular state is generally tied to the state's population – the larger the population, the more robocalls that state takes. Residents in Texas and California weathered more than 6 billion robocalls in 2019. On the flipside, only 5 smaller states got fewer than 100 million calls during the year: Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Lucky them, right?

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