Robocall monthly figures take another tumble

Photo (c) undefined undefined - Getty Images

The FCC confirms it’s giving carriers the all-clear to bring the robo gnats to their knees

Not that two months is exactly a trend, but consumers might be a little happy that they only had to suffer 4.74 billion robocalls in May -- the second straight monthly decrease, and 5 million fewer than March’s all-time high.

Breaking those numbers down still adds up to more nuisances than a consumer should have forced down their throat: nearly 25 billion robocalls, an average of 152.9 million robocalls per day, and 1,769 robocalls per second.

These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a free robocall blocking solution for mobile phones.

Type of Robocall 

Estimated May Robocalls 

Percentage of May Robocalls

Alerts and Reminders

1.1 billion (+5 million)

23 percent (+2 percent)

Payment Reminders

924 million (+18 million)

19 percent (+0 percent)


698 million (-16 million)

15 percent (+1 percent)


2.0 billion (-242 million)

43 percent (-3 percent)

Like most months, the number one scam was health/health insurance claims, but hot on its tail with an additional 51.7 million calls placed were student loan scams, most likely an attempt to sidle up to recent graduates.

Here’s a complete rundown of the types and number of May’s robocalls:


 Type of Scam

Estimated May Robocalls

  Summary of Scam


Health/Health Insurance Scams

241m (-135.8 million)

Identity theft/scam payments

2 (+1)

Student Loans Scams

183.7m (+51.7 million)

Identity theft/scam payments

3 (-1)

Interest Rate Scams

160.5m (-28.3 million)

Identity theft

4 (-1)

Easy Money scams

111.4m (-52.1 million)

Pay to make money/get job


Search Listing Scams

106.0m (-9.4 million)

Fake search listing fees

6 (+1)

Social Security Scams

103.1m (+14.3 million)

Fake SSN problems

Baby steps, but at least in the right direction

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a public hearing where the agency approved a ruling to make sure that service providers (e.g., Sprint, Verizon) have the legal all-clear to block proven unwanted calls and phone numbers. But, only if the providers a) alert its customer base about that practice; and, b) give those customers a chance the tools necessary to opt-out of call blocking altogether or block calls from any number that does not appear on a customer’s contact list or other “white lists.”

In theory, a move like that seems like a good thing, but YouMail’s CEO Alex Quilici waved the yellow flag when he heard the FCC was giving carriers that level of censorability.

“We support the FCC’s efforts to address the robocall epidemic, and think having carriers block obviously illegal calls by default would be a great thing, since roughly half of all robocalls are scams and obviously illegal,” Quilici told ConsumerAffairs. “But do we really want the carriers to decide which legal robocalls get to go through?”

Take a Home Warranty Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.