By Ron Hurtibise
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Armed with sophisticated but easy-to-use tools, robocallers made a record 3.36 billion of the annoying, automated sales, debt collection and scam pitches to United States consumers in April.
“Don’t hang up. Our records indicate you may qualify for a reduction or even forgiveness of your student loan debt.”
“You have been pre-selected to receive a cellular home security system absolutely free.”
“This is your final courtesy call before we are unable to lower your credit card interest rate.”
You’re not imagining things: The number of annoying robocalls to our mobile and landline phones are increasing month by month.
Armed with sophisticated but easy-to-use tools, robocallers made a record 3.36 billion of the annoying, automated sales, debt collection and scam pitches to United States consumers in April, a 6.5 percent increase over the previous record in March, and nearly a 34 percent hike over April 2017, according to a monthly index of the 50 most-robocalled cities in America by YouMail, a robocall blocking service.
Florida cities are among the nation’s most robocalled, according to the YouMail index. In April, Miami ranked 13th and Fort Lauderdale ranked 14th out of the 50 most-robocalled U.S. cities. And according to a news release by the National Consumer Law Center, Florida is on pace in 2018 to exceed 2017’s record total of more than 2.2 billion received robocalls.
While Fort Lauderdale and Miami are among the nation’s largest population centers and would occupy top spots in any by-the-numbers rankings, several major metro areas ranked below 35th place, including Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; San Antonio, Texas.; Boston, Mass.; and St. Louis, Mo.
Sensitive to growing anger from consumers, lawmakers are searching for ways to tamp down the problem.
New restrictions take effect July 1 in Florida. The U.S. Senate is calling upon the major phone service carriers to get more proactive. And last month, a Senate committee subpoenaed Miami’s accused “robocall king”, who is facing a $120 million fine for allegedly making nearly 100 million robocalls in 2016, to explain why robocalling continues to grow in such large numbers.