Lost amid the many larger problems affecting individuals across the United States and the world is an interesting data point that should make executives across the credit and collection industry feel more optimistic: the number of robocalls has plunged significantly during the past eight months.
That decline, however, is likely to stop as more states re-open and the economy ramps back up, according to YouMail, which tracks the number of robocalls on a monthly basis. In fact, YouMail noted that there was an uptick in the number of robocalls at the end of April, which indicated that an increase may not be too far off on the horizon.
The 2.9 billion robocalls in April was 30% lower than the number made in March and almost 50% less than the 5.7 billion that were placed last October, when the figure hit its high-water mark. About 45% of all robocalls were scams, according to YouMail, compared with alerts and reminders (28%), payment reminders (16%), and telemarketing (11%).
“Call centers are closed or running at much lower capacity due to social distancing around the world,” said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “April’s massive decline in robocalls shows that COVID-19 is accomplishing what government, technology, and regulation couldn’t. However, as social distancing slows down and the economies rev back up, we should expect robocalls to once again increase.”
While COVID-19 has definitely aided to the decrease in robocalls, other measures, such as the enactment of the TRACED Act, can also be cited as a reason why fewer robocalls are being made. The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have also been very vocal about shutting down scams related to COVID-19.