How Robocalls Are Spamming Consumers

Peyton Duplechien • 12 Aug 2019 • 3 min read

Your phone rings and it’s an unidentified number. In the past, giving attention to random phone calls was something that seldom occurred, so when that call came it wasn’t a huge bother. A sudden and dramatic increase in robocalls spamming consumers with offers for credit cards, security scams and all manner of annoyances has changed all that. If you own a phone, you’ve probably been affected.
The sheer quantity of reasons marketers and spammers have come up with to spam your phone is astounding. Let’s take a closer look at this sudden increase in robocalls, how robocalls affect your business and their impact on general phone usage for consumers.
how robocalls are spamming customers infographic

Robocalls Number in the Billions

It’s depressing to think that this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. But the metrics do tell a compelling story. Even though the number of calls is still counted in the billions dating all the way back to 2017, which clocked in at 30.5 billion calls made, that number will more than double in 2019. That’s a dramatic increase, so the perception that there’s been a sudden increase in robocalls being made isn’t superficial. There really are more spam calls hitting your phone.

The Majority of Robocalls Are Spam

Businesses do sometimes have legitimate reasons for reaching out to you. The FTC does their best to monitor and approve automated calls being placed. For example, debt collection, political promotion and charity robocalls are all approved by the FTC. 
But the recent slew of robocalls is shown to be driven by fraud and spam. Sixty percent of all robocalls in 2018 fell into one of these two buckets. This supports the premise that robocall spam specifically, not just automated calls in general, are on the rise.
Perhaps this is the result of more broadly available consumer data. More companies than ever are making their databases of customer information available, which makes your phone or business an easy target for the people behind these spammy calls. 
The three most popular types of robocall scams in 2018 involved health insurance, interest rates and student loans. These added up to 8.7 billion calls altogether, with health insurance scams alone responsible for 5.1 billion of those calls.

How Robocalls Affect your Business

When people are inundated with bogus calls, they don’t want to pick up the phone — and that can make it difficult for you to do business. Even worse, spam callers are getting better at using trickier methods to fool consumers into thinking their phone calls are legitimate.
Phone spoofing has been leveraged by many recent robocalls spamming consumers. This technique makes it appear that a call is coming from a legitimate local area code. 
When scammers pose as businesses or law enforcement, and/or share that they have personal information about someone, people are discouraged to answer unrecognized calls. That could include your number, even if you have a legitimate need to contact them. Sixty-seven percent of people surveyed in a Clutch study said that they were unlikely to pick up an unknown number, and sixty percent block the numbers they receive robocalls from. 
Your service provider can also implement blocking measures, but it’s interesting to note that with the sudden increase in robocalls spamming consumers, different providers are scrambling to offer effective countermeasures that don’t flag legitimate calls.

Doing Business in the Age of Robocalls

When Clutch investigated the biggest factors involved in getting someone to devote their time to your call, the option to interact with a human being was the clear winner. 21% of surveyed consumers ranked human interaction as the most highly valued quality of a live answering service.
Even more telling, 25% of consumers who were met with an automated answering service valued the option for human interaction over any other factor. People want to know who they’re speaking to, and even with automated technology improving, the robocall onslaught has lead to a distrust of automated systems.
So if you want to avoid negative impact on your business, make sure there’s a human voice on the other end of the line. As robocalls continue to breed distrust, it’s important that your business makes the perfect first impression on any calling customer.

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