April 26, 2019
Anthony Marino set his mobile phone to “Do Not Disturb” before going to bed, but he sensed it flicker in the dark. The next morning, he saw he had missed roughly 30 calls: at 4:15 a.m., 4:34, 4:45, 5:08 and 5:12, and for two hours after that. Most appeared as “Lithuania” on his caller ID, although they could have come from anywhere.
“I hate to say it, but I don’t pick up the phone anymore, which is crazy,” said Mr. Marino, 37, a real estate agent in Brooklyn. “I have missed calls from attorneys and other agents I am doing deals with.”
The seemingly endless stream of robocalls reached a new monthly high of 5.23 billion nationwide in March, according to the call-blocking service YouMail. Some were spammy pitches for unwanted vehicle warranties or debt-relief services. Nearly half were straight-up scams. And there was often one common thread: They frequently came from somewhere other than they said they did…