India on list of topmost spammed countries

Spammers have made 202 million calls this year

By Web Desk

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Published: Sat 18 Dec 2021, 3:43 PM

Some people just love spamming. Unbelievable as it may seem, a spammer in India made 27,000 spam calls every hour, every day, adding up to a massive 202 million spam calls in 2021.

“Makes you wonder how the telecom operators even allow this kind of call volume,” said a release by Truecaller, the leading global platform for verifying contacts and blocking unwanted communication.

The company actively maintains a list of top spammers in each region to automatically block them, “but this one spammer is so far ahead of the rest that they will find it very hard to catch up,” it added.

According to the company’s 2021 Global spam and scam report, India’s ranking shot up to the fourth spot in terms of spam calls, up from ninth in 2020. This was mainly because of a significant increase in sales and telemarketing calls.

“The vast majority (93.5%) of all spam in India are sales or telemarketing calls,” said the release. “One of the common scams in the country remains the ever-popular KYC (know your customer), where fraudsters pretend to be a bank or digital payment service, asking for user KYC documents as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.”

Typically, scammers lure unsuspecting victims under some pretext (OTPs, online sales, lotteries) and ask them to download a remote access app, which eventually leads to monetary losses from banks, cards and digital mobile wallets. “The average number of spam calls per user per month (in India) stands at 16.8 while total spam volumes received by Truecaller users alone are in excess of 3.8 billion calls in just October,” said the report.

Three countries ahead of India in terms of spammers are Brazil, Peru and Ukraine. The company noted that spamming is a global problem and “the reason the spam and scam business still exists is because it is hugely profitable for very little effort and consequences.”

Referring to the worldwide trend in spamming, the report says there was a noticeable increase in total spam calls in March and it correlates to when there were fierce new Covid-19 waves sweeping across many developing nations. “Spammers and scammers wasted no time in capitalising on this opportunity, whether it was about selling life-saving drugs, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators or securing scarce hospital beds,” said Truecaller.

Its report was based on analysis of billions of calls received by 300 million users. Brazil retained the title as the most spammed country (fourth year in a row) with 32.9 spam calls per user a month.

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