Tech

It's official: Spammy phone calls have almost doubled in the past two years, and New Jersey and Delaware got hit worst

Share
Key Points
  • There were more than 7 million complaints about violations to the U.S. "Do Not Call" registry this year, a big surge from the more than 5.3 million complaints in 2016.
  • The figure is almost double the nearly 3.6 million complaints in 2015.
  • New Jersey had the highest density of complaints on the "do not call" registry in 2017.
Bill Hinton | Moment Mobile | Getty Images

There were nearly 7.2 million complaints about violations to the U.S. "Do Not Call" registry this year, a big surge from the more than 5.3 million complaints in 2016.

The figure is almost double the nearly 3.6 million complaints in 2015.

New Jersey had the highest density of complaints on the "do not call" registry in 2017, according to new data released by the Federal Trade Commission on Monday.

For every 100,000 New Jersey residents, there were almost 3,600 complaints about spam calls, the FTC said. Delaware, Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire followed close behind with over 2,700 complaints per 100,000 residents. New Jersey and New Hampshire residents were also among the most likely to be on the "do not call" list.

Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri and North Dakota were relatively spam-free this year, the report said, with fewer than 1,400 complaints per 100,000 residents.

Robocalls were the worst offenders, and the most common topic, by far, was reducing debt. Other popular spam call topics were for timeshares, warranties and medical-related calls, according to the FTC. July and August appeared to be the peak time for spam calls.

The deluge could subside soon: Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission gave phone companies more power to block robocalls.

Here's a full breakdown of state rankings by the FTC and some tips on how to cut down on spam callers:

Most "do not call" list violation complaints per 100,000 residents (source FTC)

RANK CONSUMER STATE COMPLAINTS COMPLAINTS PER 100K POPULATION
1New Jersey321,3933,593
2Delaware27,6912,909
3Florida588,0212,853
4Virginia232,8182,768
5New Hampshire36,4012,727
6Michigan265,4652,674
7Connecticut94,4402,641
8Rhode Island26,5902,517
9Maryland150,3462,499
10Arizona169,7022,448
11Tennessee158,8962,389
12Vermont14,8962,385
13Ohio276,6672,382
14Nevada69,6392,369
15Georgia242,2422,350
16Colorado129,6092,339
17Illinois295,2182,306
18New York454,1002,300
19Massachusetts156,0062,290
20Oregon93,1212,275
21Nebraska43,2552,268
22Alabama108,0032,221
23Maine29,4952,215
24Utah66,2292,171
25Pennsylvania271,8322,126
26California824,6922,101
27Arkansas61,6972,065
28Montana21,2112,035
29Iowa63,5022,026
30Wyoming11,8082,017
31Texas559,5632,008
32South Carolina99,6202,008
33Idaho33,1571,970
34North Carolina199,4071,965
35Kansas55,2071,899
36Louisiana86,2671,843
37New Mexico37,6531,809
38Washington125,6891,725
39Indiana114,2411,722
40Wisconsin98,3521,702
41Minnesota91,1661,652
42Kentucky72,1101,625
43Oklahoma61,9621,579
44West Virginia28,7381,569
45South Dakota13,3161,539
46Mississippi39,9691,337
47North Dakota9,8811,304
48Missouri74,1021,216
49Hawaii16,0551,124
50Alaska3,041410
District of Columbia24,3033,568
Puerto Rico1,63848