Truecaller has released its insights report for 2019, highlighting the impact of spam calls around the world.
In 2019, the group said that it helped users block and identify 26 billion spam calls, which is an increase of 18% on last year.
It further identified 116 billion unknown calls, which is a 56% increase on last year.
Brazil was named as the country with the highest occurrence of spam calls with an average of 45.6 spam calls a month per user.
This was followed by Peru at 30.9 spam calls a month and Indonesia at 27.9 spam calls per month.
South Africa was ranked as having the sixth high spam call rate in the world with an average of 25.2 spam calls a month – an increase of an average of 21 in 2018.
Truecaller said that scam calls continue 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.
Truecaller said insurance-related calls have also seen a big uptake in the country.
“Lately, there have been complaints about insurance companies calling people to upsell car insurance – or scammers calling pretending that your car has been towed away and that you need to pay a fee to get it back,” it said.