2020 delivered a rare bit of good news when it came to the scourge of robocalls. Such annoying interruptions decreased by 10% last year.
We don’t blame you for not noticing — robocalls still made up about one-quarter of all calls during the year, according to an annual report from RoboKiller, an app that lets you get back at spam callers.
A total of 54 billion robocalls were made last year, an average of 200 per person. Some places fared worse than others. The five states that received the most spam calls were:
- Texas: 6.3 billion calls
- Arizona: 1.4 billion
- Alabama: 1 billion
- South Carolina: 1 billion
- Arkansas: 636 million
While the number of robocalls increased in those states, it fell nationwide. RoboKiller says the decline was largely a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as the average monthly robocall volume fell about 10% between January and April. According to the report:
“The spam call decrease from January to April 2020 aligns with the quarantine and shelter-in-place orders of early COVID-19. These shutdowns severely limited access to the technology needed for scammers to make large volumes of calls.”
Not only did the overall number of robocalls fall, but spam calls made up a smaller percentage of all calls, dipping by 50% compared with 2019.
Still, the end result of robocalls actually may have been more damaging in 2020 than in 2019. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, a jump from $1.8 billion the previous year.
RoboKiller says scams related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, played a role in boosting the amount of fraud loss last year.
Unfortunately, the trend toward fewer robocalls looks like it will not last. RoboKiller notes that once officials began to lift quarantines related to the pandemic, robocall volume began to increase again.
Looking for more ways to silence unwanted calls? Check out our tips in “8 Steps to Put an End to Robocalls.”