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America’s Phone Habits

Americans are answering their cell phones only 47% of the time they ring, according to data released by Hiya, a company that helps identify the source of incoming phone calls. Debt collectors, as part of the broader financial services industry, represent the second-largest industry making calls to individuals on their cell phones, trailing only the healthcare industry.

On average, Americans receive about 118 calls per month and nearly 40% of those come from numbers that are not saved in the individual’s contacts list. Individuals answer 41% of calls that are from numbers not saved in their contacts and only answer 18% of calls if the phone number is not identified in any way, shape, or form on their caller ID.

Among the top unwanted call categories debt collections placed tied for fifth with IRS scams at 1.8%, trailing general spam (32%), fraud (28.5%), telemarketers (22.5%), and robocallers (9.7%).

“The 108% growth of spam calls in 2019, and the fact that only half of all calls made to mobile phones are now picked up, speak to the impact this epidemic continues to have on Americans,” Hiya CEO Alex Algard said in a news release. “We applaud the joint efforts of the House and Senate who have been pushing hard over the past year for the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act to become law, and look forward to working alongside our carrier partners in 2020 to restore trust in the mobile call.”

Six of the top seven area codes targeted by spammers are in Texas, according to Hiya. The 214, 201, 817, 512, 832, and 713 area codes are some of the most targeted for spam calls, along with the 305 area code in Miami, 404 area code in Atlanta, 405 area code in Oklahoma City, and 407 area code in Orlando.

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