Americans are now getting so many robo-calls that many are simply choosing not to answer the phone altogether, The Washington Post reports.
While many businesses have legitimate purposes for using robo-calls—think package delivery services, home maintenance technicians and banks—unwanted robo-calls represent a growing challenge for regulators and telecom companies.
A report released Tuesday by Hiya, a Seattle-based spam-monitoring service, details how sharply robo-calls are on the rise. Roughly 26.3 billion robo-calls were placed to U.S. phone numbers last year, up from 18 billion in 2017. Additionally, the company found only about half of all cell phone calls are being answered at all, seemingly in an effort to avoid robo-calls.
Last month, more than 35 million robo-calls were placed to Baton Rouge numbers, and in November, the city ranked first for most robocalls per person, according to YouMail, a phone call management company that monitors robo-call data.