Truecaller has now released the findings from their annual Truecaller Insights Report that listed the Top 20 Countries Affected by Spam Calls in 2020. This is the fourth edition of the report wherein there has been a significant shift in the ranking of countries that received the most spam calls. According to the report, India has dropped down to 9th position in terms of number of spam calls received by users globally, while Brazil continues to stay on top.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Truecaller report has shown that not only has the pandemic affected communication behaviour but also spam patterns around the world. However, spam calls received by users in India reduced by 34 percent. India still makes it into the top 10 most spammed countries despite a reduction in the amount of spam calls received.
The Trucaller report further highlighted that 98.5 percent of all spam calls in India originate from domestic numbers that could partly explain why spam calls have been decreasing in India, as strict curfews implemented in the country earlier this year made it impossible for telemarketers to go to work, or utilise the equipment they need to carry out large scale spam campaigns.
Furthermore, the Truecaller report mentioned the first three months of lockdown in India saw calls to emergency services increase by 148 percent. With regard to spam call categorisation, operators continue to be the top spammers in India with 52 percent user calls received for the upselling of various offers and reminders. However, the study also witnessed telemarketing services emerging as big spammers, recording a total of 34 percent.
Gujarat emerged as the state that received the most spam calls in 2020, followed closely by Maharashtra. In the report, Truecaller revealed that spam reached its lowest point in April when strict curfews and lockdowns were implemented worldwide. The overall volume of calls also dipped during this period. However, from this point, reports of scammers taking advantage of the uncertainty around the pandemic emerged. In May, spam calls started to pick up again and have been increasing on average by 9.7 percent per month.
An escalation of scam calls and robocalls around the world is expanding their share within the most common spam categories. Scammers taking advantage of the pandemic is a primary reason for the increase of scam calls. Another devastating fact related to India, is that 8 out of 10 women in India receive sexual harassment or inappropriate calls and SMS regularly.
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