Americans were hit with 58.5 billion automatic calls last year, a 22% increase from the 47.8 billion received in 2018, according to YouMail, a company that provides a service to block such messages.
“We have had more than 100 billion automatic calls in the last two years,” YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said in a statement accompanying the report. “It is not surprising that an anti-robocall bill has been overwhelmingly approved by Congress and signed by the president on December 31, 2019.”
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump enacted the Criminal Enforcement and Dissuasion Act for Abuse and Robocall by Phone (TRACED), which gives the FCC more time to act against robocallers and fine them for up to $ 10,000 per call.
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Another potential for relief: the recently adopted technology standards are intended to help providers identify “fake” spam calls and call numbers to prevent them from reaching consumers.
“We expect to see more robocaler stops due to a better and more timely application, as well as improved technological solutions to block your calls and track them,” Quilici told USA TODAY. “However, the big question is whether other robocallers will quickly replace them.”
YouMail finds that fraudulent calls make up the bulk of the flood of automatic calls, which account for 25.9 billion or 44% of all automatic calls. Alerts and reminders accounted for 13 billion (22%); financial reminders, 11.4 billion (21%); and telemarketing calls, 8 billion (14%).
Texas and California got the most automatic calls in 2019, more than 6 billion. Seven other states (Florida, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Illinois) received more than 2 billion automatic calls.
In a separate report published last week, Maryland and Nevada were the most affected by automatic calls, receiving approximately 18 calls and 16.5 calls per month, respectively, and filing a higher than average number of automatic call complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, according to an analysis of the site of We Talk mobile phone recommendation, which is also factored in the Youboil Robocall index.
The residents of Washington, D.C., obtained the highest number of automatic calls, with an average of almost two per day (a total of 599 per year, 1.6 daily calls); Louisiana residents also averaged more than one per day, earning 371 per person during 2019.
The states with the largest increases in automatic calls were West Virginia (55%) and Idaho (51%).
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.