Truecaller, developers of an app that blocks spam calls and messages, has issued their 2019 analysis of the countries where customers received most voice and SMS spam. Brazilians received the most spam voice calls, averaging over 45 spam calls per user per month. The next worst countries for voice spam were Peru, Indonesia, Mexico and India. Ethiopians suffered the most spam SMS messages, averaging 119 messages per user per month. South Africa, Kenya, Brazil and Colombia completed the top five for SMS spam.
Telcos have a crucial role to play in preventing spam. However, Truecaller blamed Brazilian telcos for unleashing a tsunami of spam upon subscribers.
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.
Truecaller also noted that an increasing proportion of the Brazilian spam is generated by criminals.
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. Another common scam call is the fake kidnap call where someone calls and pretends they will kidnap/have kidnapped someone from your family, and want you to buy them airtime or wire money.
You can read Truecaller’s analysis of the top 20 countries for voice and SMS spam by clicking here.