Getting a lot of robocalls recently? If your phone number is from the Atlanta area, you’re not alone.
According to the YouMail Robocall Index, the area code 404 is the area code most dialed by robocallers in the United States. Close behind is the area code 678, which places fourth on the list. 770 ranks at No. 16.
Robocalls, those pesky voice recorded advertisement phone calls that tend to start with “congratulations!” are becoming more frequent, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s website. The thing is, many of these robocalls are actually illegal.
According to a post by former FTC Chief Technologist Ed Felten to the FTC Blog, “We get over 200,000 consumer complaints about robocalls every month. A great many of these calls violate rules governing telemarketing, which the FTC enforces.”
Robocalls from political candidates and charities are allowed in most states, but “all calls with prerecorded telemarketing sales messages are illegal unless you agreed to be called,” according to Verizon’s website.
While Atlanta is high on YouMail’s list of robocall victims, the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry Data Book from fiscal year 2015 shows different findings. The FTC measures complaints based off of telemarketing calls, but does not track legal charity or political calls. In fact, debt collection calls are legal as well, and YouMail lists debt collection most frequently on its list of the top 20 robocallers nationwide.
In 2015, only 17,276 complaints were made to the FTC from area code 404. That number is relatively high, but doesn’t come close to states like Idaho, Maryland or Massachusetts, where some area codes have numbers reaching 20,000 to 30,000 reports.
There is something to be done about robocalls, though. The best defense you have is the National Do Not Call Registry, which requires only a single phone call to sign up. This will prevent most sales calls from reaching your phone.
If you are still contacted illegally in a sales call, the FTC recommends you don’t interact with the call at all. Hang up immediately without pushing any buttons, and file a complaint with the FTC.