Cellphones seem to have become an extended part of our bodies, and is one of the prime tools we use to keep in contact with others. According to Truecaller’s latest Insight Report, countries across the world receive spam reports, with some receiving more than others.

“In 2019 we have been able to help our users block and identify 26-billion spam calls, which is an increase of 18% compared to last year. Furthermore, we have helped identify 116-billion unknown calls, which is a 56% increase compared to last year,” the company’s Kim Fai Kok said in a statement.

This year’s report has found the following:

– The top five markets in the world for spam phone calls include Malaysia (63%), Australia (60%), Lebanon (49%), Canada (48%), South Africa (39%)

– Although India has dropped to the fifth place – India used to be the top spammed country in the world – spam calls have been increasing by 15% over the year. Another fact Truecaller found during this year is that one out of three women in India receive sexual harassment or inappropriate calls and SMSs on a regular basis.

These are the most spammed countries in the world:

Truecaller data shows that the top countries that receives the most spam SMSs are in the emerging markets. The top three markets affected are in the African continent.

Ethiopians receives the most spam SMSs in the world, with the average of 119 spam SMSs on a monthly basis.

In total, Truecaller helped identify 8.6-billion spam SMSs globally.

The world’s top spam callers include:

1. Brazil

Almost every other spam call in Brazil is being made from the operators and Internet service providers. In the past 12 months, calls from the operators have increased from 32% to 48%. These calls are typically seeking to provide special offers and upselling data plans amongst other services.

Scam calls continue to be a big problem in Brazil. Two years ago, only 1% of all the top spammers were scam related, last year it went up to 20% – and this year it is up to 26%. One of the most common scams is the one ring scam or Wangiri scam. An unknown number (usually an international number) gives you a missed call and when you call back you are charged a hefty fee for calling that number.

2. Peru

One of the more interesting findings in this year’s report is that Peru has second highest percentage of spam calls in the world.

As the graph shows, 1 in every 3 spam call in Peru is made by financial services that are looking to upsell credit cards and loans. A big chunk of the top spam calls that are bothering Truecaller users are from operators (24%) and outsourced telemarketing firms (26%) that promotes various offerings. Scam calls are also a big issue in Peru, where 1 out of 10 calls are scam related.

3. Indonesia

Not only does Indonesia continue to be the most spammed market in the South East Asia region, it has become the third-most spammed country in the world. Users are now receiving 27.9 spam calls per month.

Calls from banks, financial services and insurance brokers continue to be the top spammers in Indonesia.

The most alarming finding is that scam calls has more than doubled in the past year – going from 10% to 21%. In the recent months there has been a lot of unrest in the country, and Truecaller has received a lot of feedback from their users that scammers use this opportunity to scam people.

4. Mexico

Similar to Peru, Mexico receives many calls from financial services (41%.) The biggest trend recorded this year is that calls being made from debt collectors, both authentic and fake, have seen a massive increase (31%). Compared to last year, these types of calls were not in the top spam list.

5. India

In the past 2 years, India has dropped from being the country to receive the most spam calls in the world to the 5th position. But this does not mean spam calls are slowing down. On the contrary – spam calls have been increasing with 15% in 2019.

6. South Africa

Scam calls continues to be a big threat for consumers in South Africa (39%). The most common scams are:

– Tech support fraud, where someone pretends to call from your bank or a company saying that your account has been hijacked and needs your help to take control of it.

– One ring scam, an unknown number (usually an international number) gives you a missed call and when you call them back you get charged a hefty fee for calling to that number.

– Job offer scam, someone pretends to be a headhunter calling you to offer you a job but you need to pay a fee in order to get the job.

Picture: Pixabay

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