Hanging Up On Robocallers - NBC 7 San Diego
NBC 7 Responds

NBC 7 Responds

Consumer Investigative Unit

Hanging Up On Robocallers

San Diego County ranks 8th in nation for reporting spam calls.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Robocalls Lead to Mistrust in Telecommunication

    Consumer Bob from the NBC 7 Responds Team talks about the increase of robocalls, and the impacts that these calls have on everyone. (Published Wednesday, July 31, 2019)

    Since January there have been 336 million robocalls made to San Diego County phones. That averages out, according to data provided by robocall blocking app, YouMail, 68 calls per person since the beginning of the year. 

    “It’s easier and easier for automated call centers to get off the ground,” said YouMail’s CEO, Alex Quilici during a December 2018 interview with NBC 7 Responds. “They log on to a website that allows them to spoof their numbers, pay a few hundred dollars, hit a button, and boom, I have just annoyed San Diego.”

    But just what are San Diego County residents doing about those annoying calls?

    San Diego County, the fifth most populous county in America, ranks 8th in reporting the calls to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry.

    Newly released data shows the registry received 115,395 complaints from people in San Diego County about robocalls since October 2016 through June 2019.

    According to the data, 76,397 complaints were made over automated calls. The remaining complaints were registered as a result of a live telemarketer.

    The data also breaks down the purpose of the calls.

    That top reason for the complaint was that the caller did not respond, or, the call was dropped.

    The second leading complaint, 15,375, were made from callers or bots which offered strategies to reduce debt.

    Other reasons for the complaints included imposters, medical or prescription advertisements, or vacation or timeshare related calls.

    And while there appears to be more and more of these calls getting through, the number of complaints are down from the highest level which was May 2018 when 5762 complaints were made. In June 2019 3410 people complained.

    “The average person trusts the phone number. They trust the caller name and they trust the person on the other end of the line,” said YouMail CEO, Quilici. “You just can’t do that anymore.”

    In addition to placing numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, here are some other tips.

    First, don’t answer any calls from a non-local number, unless, of course, you know the person calling.

    Second, install a robocall blocking app for your phone such as those offered by YouMail. The apps recognize spoof numbers and blocks them by playing an out-of-service message on your phone. 

    To see the data for yourself, click here.