Coronavirus: Pandemic causes unexpected but welcome drop in number of robocalls

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Stuck at home, you would think between our mobile devices and landlines we would be inundated with unwanted sales calls, but that hasn't been the case. We are all getting a small vacation from robocalls. Why? Well, call it a side effect of the world-wide pandemic.

Ingrid Coolins of San Francisco is working from home, something she had never done before the pandemic. She finds it has come with an unexpected benefit: almost no robocall interruptions.

"Surprisingly very few since I have been staying at home," she tells me.

Ingrid can actually quantify the drop. "I went through my caller ID on my landline to see how many I had, and it was almost like three a day before shelter-in-place and now, I have had two since I have been home in the last month," she explains.

YouMail, the robocall blocking app, is backing Ingrid up on that. It has seen a huge drop in irritating calls.

Alex Quilici is YouMail's CEO. YouMail is a service that can block robocalls. He says, "The main reason that robocalls are dropping is because it seems there are far fewer call centers that are active right now. So they are either closed or they are doing social distancing so they have far fewer seats."

Quilici says even if you don't have his service, YouMail is working for you by reporting bad actors to the authorities.

"We shut down a really nasty scam," he says, "they were calling and offering a free at home COVID-19 test... Hey, let's try to shut this place down before it causes real damage, and we were successful."

Which leaves Ingrid has some peace and quiet: "I have no idea why, but it is nice."

As the stay-at-home orders are loosened up, we will begin getting more calls... so be ready for a new onslaught.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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