A new study finds New Jersey was 5th in the nation in the year 2019 for the number of bothersome robocalls. The phone service comparison website Let's Talk crunched the stats.

Let's Talk's Trends Researcher Maddie Peterson says while there's no definitive evidence as to why New Jersey was such a robocall target, she suggests one reason might be our propensity to answer the phone.

"Robocallers like to target those areas because they'll get a live person. Or it could be as simple as certain areas are more vulnerable to things like fraud."

And what did those annoying callers call New Jersey about? According to Peterson, it's people pretending to be the IRS, police or a credit card company.

The Federal Trade Commission received more than 194,000 robocall complaints from New Jersey residents last year. Perhaps that is because New Jersey residents averaged 14.1 calls per month. An estimated total of 58 billion robocalls were placed in 2019, up 22.36% from 2018.

Peterson says new federal legislation prompts carriers to include options for customers that include blocking robocalls.

“There's a lot of new technology, including call verification. It tells you whether the phone number that is calling you is actually coming from a person (and not a machine) on the caller I.D. And it also will tell you whether there's a high chance that it could be a robo caller. So hopefully in 2020, when more carriers adopt, we'll see less."

Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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