Wed, 12 Aug 2020

SA second-worst in the world for spam SMSes

04 Dec 2019, 04:13 GMT+10

South Africa is one of the most spammed countries in the world via SMS and phone calls, according to a new report by caller ID and spam blocking app Truecaller.

The Truecaller Insights report lists the top 20 countries affected by both spam SMS and spam calls in 2019.

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The report found that "nuisance and unsolicited calls" continue to be on the rise around the globe. The 1.7 million daily active Truecaller app users receive a total of 25 spam calls monthly, a 20% increase from last year's findings.

In 2018 Brazil overtook India as the most spammed country in the world and it is still at the top as most spammed country in 2019.

Peru is the second most spammed country in the world in 2019, followed by Indonesia, Mexico and India. South Africa comes in 6th place ahead of Chile, the US, Russia, Colombia and Canada.

Emerging markets

The data shows that the top countries receiving the most spam via SMS are the emerging markets.

Ethiopia is in top spot with an average of 119 spam SMSes every month followed by South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Colombia, Pakistan, Nigeria and India.

One of the most common scams is 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.

There is also the "one ring scam" where 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.

The "job offer scam" is where someone pretends to be a head-hunter calling you to offer you a job, but you need to pay a fee in order to get the job.

In its 2018 report, Truecaller found that fewer African markets were in the Top 20 compared to the previous year. South Africa was the only country in the list, it noted - with the number of spam calls increasing by 40%.


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