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Robocall totals take a nosedive in March

The dip is probably related to COVID-19, but regulatory and telecom efforts may also be paying off

Photo (c) filo - Getty Images
You wouldn’t want to wish the coronavirus on your worst enemy, but the pandemic sure has put the hurt on robocallers.

The total number of robocalls were down 15.7 percent in the month of March, largely due to factors related to the COVID-19 crisis. Still, it’s possible that anti-robocall efforts from companies like T-Mobile and regulators at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) are finally starting to prove their worth. March’s robocall total is a substantial 28 percent lower than last October's monthly peak of 5.7 billion calls.

These latest monthly figures come from robocall blocking service YouMail.

"While March's decline provides welcome relief to beleaguered consumers, it's unlikely to last given the decline appears to be driven by the impact of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions on call centers," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "It's a shame it has taken a global pandemic to make a real dent in the robocall epidemic."

The latest update on scam calls

As you might imagine, the surge of COVID-19 produced a new raft of related robocalls that regulators and congressional leaders are trying to fight off. These include fake disease cures, attempts to peddle ineffective equipment, and bogus medical advice offers. 

Those COVID-kin calls created a parallel surge in an increase in Medical/Health-related scams overall -- putting that category at #1 with more than twice the calls the second-place finisher (Interest Rate scams) had. 

Here are the top five robocall scams, according to YouMail:


Type of Scam

Estimated March Robocalls

Summary of Scam


Health-Related Scams


Identity theft/scam payments/illegal solicitations


Interest Rate Scams


Identity theft/financial scams


Warranty Scams


Scam payments


Student Loan Scams


Identity theft/scam payments


Debt Reduction


Identity theft/financial scams


Search Listings


Identity theft/scam payments

"Winners" in March 2020

The locations that typically experience a high number of robocalls got a break in March. While the pecking order is much the same, the volume of calls placed to those areas is down dramatically. 

City with the Most Robocalls

Atlanta, GA (165.8 million, -11 percent )

City with the Most Robocalls/Person

Washington, DC (43/person, -13 percent )

Area Code with the Most Robocalls

404 in Atlanta, GA (68.5 million, -14 percent )

Area Code with the Most Robocalls/Person

404 in Atlanta, GA (56/person, -14 percent )

State with the Most Robocalls

Texas (445.6 million, -15 percent )

State with the Most Robocalls/Person

Louisiana (25/person, -17 percent )

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