At YouMail, we put out the YouMail Robocall Index. which is a monthly estimate of robocall volumes.  The estimate for January 2018 shows that the robocall problem is getting worse.    There were nearly 2.9 billion robocalls, which is full 27% more robocalls than the previous January.

That naturally brings up a question: exactly what are all these calls trying to accomplish?

We decided to try to answer that question, and today put out the first ever detailed analysis of all those robocalls.   One thing we discovered was the relative volumes of different types of robocalls.  That is, roughly:

  1. 25% of robocalls are clearly scams, and not wanted by anyone.
  2. 15% are telemarketing, so the do not call list actually worked to reduce the volume of telemarketing calls.
  3. 33% are payment reminders or debt collectors.
  4. 27% are alerts or reminders, and are usually calls that people wanted.

What does this mean?

Well, it shows that simply blocking every single robocall just won’t cut it.  There are plenty of robocalls that are actually valuable.  After all, you want that call that your prescription has arrived.   And you don’t want to miss the reminder that your new dishwasher is being installed tomorrow.  However, right now those wanted calls are being completely swamped by unwanted calls.

It’ll be very interesting to see how this mix changes over time, as more and more people use YouMail as their robocall blocker, and we learn more and more about the types of robocalls people do and don’t want.


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