Report: Spam Phone Calls Jumped 300 Percent in 2018

Posted on December 19, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile with 16 Comments

According to a report from TrueCaller, spam phone calls surged by over 300 percent in 2018. I believe it: I currently receive far more spam calls than legit phone calls.

“[Our] users helped Truecaller report and identify 132.1 million unique spam numbers, which resulted in 17.7 billion calls blocked and identified,” the company notes. “Close to every fourth call that our users receive are spam calls.”

What constitutes a spam call? It’s basically any unwanted phone call and can include nuisance, telemarketing, wireless company upsell, financial services, scam, insurance, debt collection, political, and even health-related calls.

My own experience with spam calls comes largely from robo-calls, and TrueCaller says that 9 percent of “top spammers” in the US come from robo-calls. My phone is starting to get smarter about ignoring these calls. But some spam calls are truly damaging: Apparently, 10 percent of Americans actually lost money to phone-based scammers in 2018. The average loss was $357 per victim.

It’s also worse in other countries, and the United States is only the 8th-most victimized, behind Brazil, India, China, South Africa, Mexico, Peru, and Costa Rica, and just ahead of Greece and Spain.

“Digging deeper into the bigger markets, we found common categories that tie all these spam calls together,” TrueCaller explains. “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.”

You should check out TrueCaller’s annual report for more information.

 

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