Shutdowns lead to 42% estimated drop in Illinois robocall complaints to the FTC

(The Center Square) – Business closures and government stay-at-home orders have taken their toll on the American economy, but they have offered a silver-lining to some in Illinois: Fewer robocalls.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus that’s killed hundreds in Illinois alone, state and local governments have restricted business operations to only essential businesses. YouMail estimated that robocalls nationwide declined in March to 4.1 billion calls from 4.8 billion in February.

“There are still a decent number of scams out there, but half the decline was in fewer scam calls and the other of the decline was in fewer payment reminders,” said Alex Quilici of YouMail. “This is all (or mostly) due to call centers being closed or scaled way back due to social distancing measures.” estimated that Illinois-based robocall complaints decreased by 46 percent last week compared to the first week in March.

Jim Chilsen with the Citizens Utility Board said that was a good sign.

“It makes total sense that, in the middle of this public health crisis, it’s ground everything to a halt including illegal activity,” he said.

However, he cautioned that there were still billions of calls happening each day.

“There are still people out there trying to take advantage of you and take your money so, as always, be ever-vigilant,” Chilsen said.

CUB has an online resource to help consumers minimize the number of robocalls they get.

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