Something good has happened as a result of COVID-19 and enforced stay-at-home orders. Scam and robocalls are at their lowest number since 2017.
That may be hard for some of us to believe, after all, it seems robocalls are always ringing our phones with deals on healthcare and car warranties. It's true though, according to YouMail's Robocall Index.
"The reason is primarily that call centers had to close or socially distance for COVID-19," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "The reason that affects robocalls is the whole point of a robocall is to call you and get you to press one to talk to a person. So if there's nobody in the call centers, there's no point in calling you."
According to YouMail's Index, robocalls have increased in each of the last 3 years. In 2018, over 47 billion robocalls were placed. The number increased to 58 billion in 2019. But so far in 2020, calls have plummeted to "only" 30 billion nationwide.
The drop was even more pronounced in April. In 2019, Americans, on average, there were approximately 15 robocalls per person. The number was just 8.7 calls per person in April of 2020 when the pandemic and shutdowns were at their highest nationwide.
YouMail is a popular robocall blocking app for iPhones and Android devices. Each month, the company compiles a list of phone numbers responsible for robocalling along with the numbers of calls placed each month.
"The other reason for robocalls taking a dip is enforcement actions," said Quilici. "We've seen carriers that carry a lot of illegal traffic and even participates sometimes in soliciting traffic, they've been shut down. So when you shut them down where robocalls can't even make the call which leads to fewer calls at the other end. So that's contributing too and that's really good because that's a long term solution."
Quilici doesn't expect the trend to last much longer. Historically, October and November see the highest number of robocalls during the year. He suggests we enjoy the respite while we can.