The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its first ever report on robocalls as part of its ongoing campaign to address the scourge that is affecting Americans everywhere.
Released in February, the Report (CG Docket NO. 17-59) details initiatives and other actions undertaken by the FCC, other government agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), industry and others to protect consumers from illegal robocalls. It also summarizes current regulations applicable to unwanted phone calls received by consumers and maps out the challenges ahead for both government and industry in addressing the problem.
According to the Report, the FCC received 232,000 informal complaints from consumers in 2018 related to unwanted calls, including robocalls and telemarketing calls. In addition, the FTC reports that it received nearly 5.8 million complaints connected with its Do Not Call requirements, of which almost 3.8 million were classified as robocalls.
But these numbers may vastly underreport the number of robocalls received by consumers. The FCC Report on Robocalls also cites data from non-government sources, such as YouMail, which puts the 2018 volume of robocalls in the U.S. at nearly 48 million. Another non-government source, Hiya, reportedly estimates that over 26 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) robocalls were made to mobile phones in the U.S. in 2018.