Despite a fall in the number of spam calls received, India still made it into the top 10 most spammed countries in 2020. According to a Truecaller report, global spam calls in 2020 increased by 18 percent to 31.3 billion spam calls compared to last year, with Brazil topping the list with an average of 50 spam calls per user per month. Other countries in the top 10 list include the US, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Indonesia, UK, Ukraine, India, and Chile. In April this year, global spam call trends reached lowest; however, it kept rising the following months with October recording highest spam calls (22.4 percent higher than the pre-lockdown period).
Truecaller report notes that India received the highest number of spam calls in 2017, and the country dropped to ninth place in three years. In 2020, users in India received an average of 16.8 spam calls per month. Additionally, the report notes that during the first three months of COVID-19 lockdown in India, calls to emergency services spiked by 148 percent. Truecaller states that 52 percent spam calls in the country were by operators upselling data plans, promotions, and more. Whereas 34 percent spam calls were carried by telemarketing companies for promotional calls from companies, surveys, political calls, and more. Other top spammers in India include financial services (5 percent) and unknown scammers (9 percent).
“Our data show that the majority of all spam calls in India come from domestic numbers. Strict curfews and lockdowns in India made it much harder for telemarketers to go to work, or utilise the equipment they need to carry out large scale spam campaigns," the Stockholm-based firm said in a statement. The company adds that fraud spam calls mainly related to KYC and OTP-related scams.
“The scammers try to hook unsuspecting people using either phone calls or SMS and the tactic is always the same: they will try to get you to give up sensitive information about your financials or force you to you reveal a secret OTP with the ultimate aim of extracting money from your bank accounts or digital wallets," the report added.
Meanwhile, a report by Hindustan Times claims that Gujarat topped the Truecallers’ spammers list with 13.5 percent share in India. Other top four states receiving the most number of spam calls include Andhra Pradesh (9.5 percent), Uttar Pradesh (9.5 percent), Delhi (7.5 percent), and Karnataka (7.1 percent).