It’s amazing the wonders people pursue when motivated. Love led to the Taj Mahal. Sport erected the Colosseum. Vanity (surrounded by mystery) formed the Great Pyramid of Giza. While money can buy just about any material possession, power and influence moves mountains. It’s what led $14.4 billion to be spent on the 2020 elections in the United States, the largest election bill of all time by far. As we’ve seen, political influence can re-balance the Supreme Court, potentially changing everyday norms for decades to come. Love it or hate it, politics have a profound effect on our way of life. So when the phone rings with a call or text message from someone claiming political interest, no wonder so many people are impassioned to answer.
In this article, we cover:
- The power of influence and how it sways our phone behavior.
- Regional political robocall trends around the last presidential election.
- How to cut off the political robocall BS before it has a chance to mislead you.
That’s why the most effective scams hit you in the feels. Just look at the most common forms of robocall fraud. Debt collection scams prey on our soft spot for buying things. Vehicle insurance and interest rate scams take advantage of our desire to minimize our sunk costs. Scams where perpetrators pose as law enforcement or the IRS take advantage of our fear of getting caught for that little white lie or victimless transgression we thought we’d gotten away with.
Considering that a record 158.4 million ballots were cast in the 2020 presidential election (essentially two-thirds of all eligible voters), it’s easy to see why political phone scams would be all the rage, particularly in a year when Commander-In-Chief is up for grabs. A glance at robocall trends in 2020 show a steady climb in robocall activity in the lead-up to election day, peaking at 4.2 billion robocalls placed in October.
Consider too that in November and December 2020, the highest concentration of robocalls placed in the nation were in Atlanta. It’s no coincidence that those were the months leading up to the Georgia run-off that decided the final tally in Senate. In November, the fourth and 18th most frequent robocallers in the Peach State were categorized as political spam. In December, the No. 1 most frequent robocall was political spam.
Meanwhile, a thousand miles north, Michigan dealt with its own phone line subterfuge. The people of Flint, Michigan, in particular were targeted by automated spam calls encouraging them to vote the day after polls closed to avoid long lines. This, of course, was not true.
To be clear, this should not be conflated with purported voting machine fraud. Rather, a pair of “far-right provocateurs” were criminally charged and fined over $5 million for overseeing unauthorized robocalls in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
It should come as no surprise that Michigan ended up a critical swing state in the election.
This is a reminder for all data nerds out there that YouMail’s Robocall Index can be sorted by city, state, or ZIP Code every month for a deeper dive into local and regional trends.
Block Those Political Phone Scams
So we’ve established that political phone scams prey on our basic political interests, particularly so during election time and in hotly contested areas. Now what can you do about it?
The power of YouMail’s robocall blocking lies in its data. The Robocall Index isn’t just trend data for news outlets to reference — it’s what powers our ability to save you from the scams and spam, political or otherwise. We have stopped more than 1 billion robocalls from ever being made by extrapolating the data collected from the tens of millions of calls each month. By answering over 10 billion calls, we see dangerous trends as they occur to protect 350 million phone numbers in real time. We even incorporate measures that remove you from robocall lists, preventing ongoing pestering.
So the next time political “provocateurs” attempt to manipulate your willingness to vote in an election, rest assured YouMail will see it as it happens and cut off the BS before it has a chance to mislead you.
If you’re ready to start blocking political phone scams, sign up for YouMail for free today.