Report: 858 Robocalls Placed Every Second, Most Of Them From Debt Collectors

How many unwanted pre-recorded and/or autodialed calls have you received so far this year? Judging by the numbers in one new report, we’re guessing it’s a lot.

According to the latest YouMail National Robocall Index, some 2.3 billion robocalls were placed in January alone. That comes out to around seven robocalls for every single person the country, or 858 robocalls placed every second of every day.

Not surprisingly, most of the biggest robocallers are trying to collect some sort of debt. Fifteen of the 20 most frequent robocallers in the January Index were debt collection calls. Just these fifteen numbers placed close to 175 million calls in a single month.

In terms of which markets are receiving the most robocalls, Atlanta had both the highest number of total robocalls (approximately 99.6 million) received in January and the highest per capita rate in an area code, with 36 robocalls received for every person in the 404 area code.

Dallas, home to AT&T, was a distant second in total robocalls (79.6 million), followed by Chicago (77.9 million), Houston (74.6 million), and New York City (66.3 million).

The other area codes with high per capita robocall rates were Baton Rouge, LA (31 calls per capita for the 225 area code), Washington, D.C. (25 calls per capita in the 202 area code), Memphis (20 calls per capita in the 901 area code) and Macon, GA’s 478 area code, 19 calls per capita.

YouMail also notes the 46% spike in robocalls in Iowa and the similar 55% jump in New Hampshire, as politicians geared up for those states respective preliminary presidential showdowns. Likewise, the South Carolina markets of Charleston and Columbia saw significant increases in robocall traffic.

It should be noted that YouMail, which provides independent voicemail and call-blocking services, does have a commercial interest in tallying and publicizing these numbers. Our colleagues at Consumers Union have been pushing the nation’s biggest phone providers to give customers a free and simple way to filter out nuisance robocalls.

While there are numerous ways for telecom providers to offer this sort of feature to customers, the industry has been incredibly reluctant.

Time Warner Cable, which provides VoIP phone service to millions of customers did recently break step with its older peers by integrating the free Nomorobo robocall-blocker into its service.