March 2nd, 2021
While US consumers received 77 billion unwanted calls in 2020, this figure represented a 28% drop from the prior year, suggesting that collective efforts by policymakers, regulators, carriers and industry are driving down robocall volume. In 2020, bad actors set their sights on the COVID-19 pandemic and the US Presidential Election, launching targeted scams and misinformation campaigns. Americans were inundated with 8.25 million robocalls on Election Day alone — according to the Transaction Network Services (TNS) 2021 Robocall Investigation Report released today.
The 2021 Robocall Investigation Report, now in its sixth edition, is a bi-annual update of key robocall trends drawing from more than one billion daily call events across hundreds of carriers. The current report looks at full-year 2020 data trends for two types of negative robocalls: high-risk robocalls (scam/fraudulent calls which attempt to acquire call recipient personal information and/or money) and nuisance robocalls (which are not of malicious intent or negligent non-compliance).
“2020 was a year where overall volume declined but external factors transformed the nature of robocall campaigns launched by bad actors to create fear and confusion surrounding COVID-19 and the US Election cycle,” said Bill Versen, President of TNS’ Communications Market business. “Restoring trust in voice calling requires that telecom stakeholders continue to take proactive and coordinated steps to protect subscribers. As the TNS study affirms, the stakes remain as high as ever.”
Despite the staggering 77 billion unwanted calls made last year, TNS saw a decrease in both unwanted and wanted calls starting in mid-March 2020, in part due to carriers effectively blocking more calls and the COVID-19 pandemic sidelining global call centers responsible for so many major calling campaigns. Key findings from the 2021 Robocall Investigation Report:
Versen adds: “Where should the focus be for 2021? Only 11% of consumers TNS surveyed last year would answer calls from unmarked phone numbers. The focus in 2021 should be to present more contextual information on a subscriber’s incoming call screen (organization name, logo, reason for calling) and to ensure unwanted calls are blocked. These efforts will go a long way to restoring trust in voice calling and making sure important calls get answered.”
Click here for a full copy of the 2021 TNS Robocall Investigation Report, Sixth Edition.