INDIANAPOLIS — Despite ongoing efforts to block robocalls from blowing up our phones, data from websites that track the annoying automated calls reveal the volume of calls is holding steady.
As the government is pressing phone companies to block robocalls and more scammers are relying on text messaging, one might assume that robocall totals would be trending downward by now. That’s not the case, according to Robokiller and YouMail. Americans received about 4.3 billion robocalls in February. That’s within the range of 4.2 to 4.7 billion robocalls each month dating back to August of last year:
- Aug. ’22: 4,477,228,400
- Sept. ’22: 4,197,432,099
- Oct. ’22: 4,572,631,800
- Nov. ’22: 4,746,075,500
- Dec. ’22: 4,265,533,700
- Jan. ’23: 4,509,688,500
- Feb. ’23: 4,329,348,100
However, while robocall volume isn’t changing much, the calls themselves do seem to be changing. For example, those annoying calls from the “warranty department,” inquiring about your vehicle’s warranty, have virtually disappeared. According to Robokiller, those “warranty department” calls accounted for about 18% of all robocalls in 2021. By 2022, that number was down to 10%. Now, they make up only about 1% of warranty calls.
In 2023, the most common and persistent robocall is from “Kelly” or someone who calls herself Kelly from “Support First.” Kelly wants to offer you free or low cost health insurance. The calls come from an 844 area code, which is a general toll-free number not assigned to a specific location. Whoever “Kelly” really is, experts say they are a scammer looking to get personal information from victims.
While this seems to be a mix of good and bad news, Robokiller predicts Americans will see a 50% increase in robotexts in 2023.
As always, experts recommend not answering calls or responding to texts from unknown numbers you’re not expecting to hear from. In the case of a caller, it’s safest to let the call ring, then wait for any voicemail the caller leaves. If you do answer an unsolicited call from a robocaller, don’t follow prompts like “Press 1.” Also, never click on links sent in an unsolicited text message. Those will often send you to fake or spoofed websites designed to start collecting your personal information.