Everyone loves to hate robocalls, but the intensity of that anger has simmered down over the years. The Federal Trade Commission said on Friday that consumer complaints about robocalls are the lowest they’ve been in five years.
During the 2023 fiscal year, the FTC received 1.2 million complaints about robocalls – a decrease from 1.8 million complaints in fiscal year 2022 – according to the Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry Data Book.
This is the second year the number of robocall complaints has decreased. Overall complaints also dropped 84% from fiscal year 2022.
The FTC reported 175,000 imposter calls were received in the 2023 fiscal year and 117,000 of those were robocalls. Imposter calls are classified as a person impersonating a business, government representative, or agency, while robocalls are pre-recorded messages. Both are meant to trick people into divulging personal or sensitive information.
The Commission said 2.6 million people signed up for the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry, a program that removes a user’s phone number from most legal telemarketer lists. The registry now includes 249 million actively registered numbers, an increase from 246.8 million at the end of fiscal year 2022.
The drop in complaints are likely due to the increase in DNC Registry sign ups, improved spam blockers built into smartphones, and the efforts of Operation Stop Spam Calls, which is the largest crackdown on illegal telemarketing calls in U.S. history, according to the FTC.
The FTC, the Federal Communications Commission, and other government agencies have been in a seemingly endless war against illegal telemarketing schemes. Robocalls specifically duped Americans out of $39 billion in 2022 alone, according to Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico.
The ever-evolving nature of technology has made scammers more challenging than ever to stop.