Spam calling is getting worse in South Africa – it’s among the worst in the world

South Africans are some of the most spammed in the world, a new insights study by spam call blocker Truecaller has revealed.

“In 2018 alone, we have helped our users block and identify 17.7 billion spam calls – and we’ve helped identify 74.1 billion calls in general for our users.

“This means that close to every fourth call that our users receive are spam calls,” Truecaller said.

In 2018, Brazil has taken over India as the most spammed country in the world, with the average Truecaller user receiving 37.5 spam calls per month. This represents an 81% increase of spam calls in a year.

The US has dropped from second to the 8th most affected. However, one in every 10 American adults (10%) lost money from a phone scam in the past 12 months.

With an average loss of $357 per victim, the result of these scams is projected to have cost 24.9 million Americans approximately $8.9 billion in total losses, the report said.

There’s been a big increase of spam calls in European markets like Spain (100%), Greece (54.1%) and Italy (22.7%.).

Fewer African markets are in the Top 20 list: Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, and Nigeria. South Africa is the only country in the list – as a matter of fact the amount of spam calls has increased from 15 to 21 spam calls/months – that is a 40% increase.

“The biggest pattern we could see was that operators across the world are the biggest spammers. We could also see that telemarketing calls from financial services, debt collectors and insurance related matters are spamming our users globally,” Truecaller said.

South Africa

South Africa continues to be one of the most spammed countries in the world, down from fifth to fourth. South Africa has seen a 40% increase of spam calls in the country going from 15 to 21 spam calls/month, Truecaller said.

Almost half (49%) of all top spam calls in South Africa is scam related:

  • Tech support fraud, where someone pretends to call from your bank or a company saying that your account has been hijacked and need 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.

Telemarketing is also a big problem in South Africa, which accounts to 38% of all top spam calls in the country, the report said. These type of calls usually come from various companies, insurance agencies and financial services trying to offer something.

Read: How to block annoying spam calls and ID callers in SA



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Spam calling is getting worse in South Africa – it’s among the worst in the world