58.5 billion robocalls made in 2019, up 22 percent

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Roughly 58.5 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. last year, according to new research, marking a 22 percent increase from 2018.

YouMail, a company that provides a service to block robocalls, estimated that the average American received 178.3 robocalls during the year.

“We’ve now had well over 100 billion robocalls in the past two years,” YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said in a statement. “It’s no wonder that an anti-robocall bill passed Congress overwhelmingly and was signed by the President on December 31, 2019.”

President Trump in late December signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of robocalls made in the U.S., an issue that had united both chambers and both parties in Congress.

The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act requires phone companies to block robocalls without charging customers anything extra and mandates most carriers in the U.S. to ensure that calls are coming from real numbers. It also grants government regulators increased authority to find and punish scammers, which could include fines of up to $10,000 per call. 

The legislation is not expected to cut down on the billions of spam calls immediately, but experts say average consumers can expect to see a reduction within six months. The robocalls are also not expected to disappear entirely. 

“This historic legislation will provide American consumers with even greater protection against annoying unsolicited robocalls,” the White House said in a statement following the legislation’s signing. “American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation.”

Illegal robocalls have spiked in recent years as scammers frequently adopt the practice to find new and cheap ways to reach consumers and search for sensitive personal information. The scammers, oftentimes located outside of the U.S., are known to target Social Security numbers, credit card information and more.

Tags Donald Trump Robocall

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