Spam calls: India drops to fifth spot

CHENNAI: India may have improved three positions in the list of most spammed countries, but mobile users here still receive almost 26 spam calls every month. India dropped to the fifth spot in Truecaller’s annual global study of spam calls (from being second last year) but spam calls grew 15% from the previous year.

The improvement was due to a relative increase in spam faced by other markets and not by reducing instances of its own spam, Truecaller data showed. Brazil remained the most spammed country for the second year in a row.

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“It’s good to know that India dropped lower in ranks, but the fact remains that the spam volume is still going up by a large margin,” Truecaller managing director Sandeep Patil told TOI. With a monthly active user (MAUs) base of around 140-145 million, India is our largest market globally, he added. Globally, Truecaller has approx 195 million MAUs.

Telecom operators continued to be top spammers for Indian mobile users with 67% calls (90% last year) received for upselling of various offers and reminders. With the rise of mobile payment systems and a growing middle class and cheap phone calls, 2019 saw more banks and fintechs spam users with marketing calls, holding 10% and 17% shares respectively.

One out of three women in India also received sexual harassment or inappropriate calls and SMS on a regular basis, Truecaller said, as ascertained by user categorisation and survey. Truecaller also looked at global levels of spam SMS this year and found it to be an emerging market phenomenon. India ranked eighth, and users received an average 61 spam SMS every month.

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