The Robocall Scourge Continues
If you've been bothered by robocalls, you're certainly not alone. These nuissances have increased sharply in the past few years. Robocall blocking company YouMail estimates that telemarketers placed between 60 billion and 75 billion robocalls in 2019, up from 47 billion in 2018 and 30 billion in 2017.
And increasingly, scams account for more and more robocalls—45.7 percent in 2019, compared to just 17.6 percent in 2016, according to Let's Talk, after culling through robocall frequency data and thousands of Do Not Call Registry complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.
Not all robocalls are bad, though, with alerts and reminders accounting for 22.7 percent, payment reminders for 20.3 percent, and telemarketing calls 11.3 percent.
Maryland, Nevada, Colorado, Delaware, and New Jersey led the nation in robocalls in 2019. The average Maryland resident receives a whopping 18 robocalls a month, in New Jersey, the average resident receives 14.1 robocalls per month In total, New Jersey residents have been robocalled more than 1.5 billion times in 2019 and filed more than 194,000 complaints to the FTC about robocalls throughout the year
Want to avoid robocalls? You can move to Alaska, where residents suffered the least from robocalls in 2019. Alaskans receive just 3.3 of them a month on average. followed by North Dakota, Indiana, Hawaii, and Mississippi.
Here's a full list of the state robocall rankings.
Fortunately, there's help on the way. A new federal law raises the fine for a single illegal robocall to a $10,000, though it is unlikely to have much of an impact because the FTC seems utterly powerless to do anything about robocalls; illegal robocallers have found ways around the rules.
Hopefully the major carriers, which have started rolling out a new robocall fighting measure called Stir/Shaken, will have more luck