In a report, it has been said that in 2018, there was a massive increase in Spam Calls to up to 300 percent worldwide.
According to an annual report from Truecaller, a Swedish appmaker which specializes in community-led caller ID and spam blocking, the number of calls marked by users on its systems as spam have increased from 5.5 billion calls in 2017, to a staggering 17.7 billion in 2018.
The country that was affected the most, was Brazil, where people received a whopping 81 percent increase in spam. According to Truecaller, Brazilians dealt with about 37.5 spam calls every month.
Brazil’s top spot replaced India which was 2017's number one. Truecaller revealed that an average Indian phone user received 22.3 spam calls a month in 2018. India was followed by Chile, South Africa and Mexico.
European countries also saw a rise in spam calls as a whole, with Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom. all seeing an increase in spam. Spain, in particular, saw an increase of 100 percent back in 2017.
The United Kingdom which was ranked the 17th, people in the country still received about 9.2 spam calls per person per month. This was up slightly from 8.5 in 2017.
Also on Truecaller's list of the most spammed countries, was Indonesia. The vast archipelago nation was the most spammed market in the South East Asia region where users received almost 10 spam calls per month.
"The top spammers in Indonesia are banks and financial services upselling various offers. There has also been a lot reporting from our users that these types of calls are scam related," said Truecaller.
Not all countries experienced a rise in spam calls.
The U.S. for example. The country that was at the second top spot in 2017 saw a huge drop to eighth, despite one in ten adults in the country reportedly lost money to scam for an average loss of $357 lost per person.
While Truecaller didn't give the reason for the drop, authorities in the country have increasingly tried to crack down on illegal callers. But still, the company estimated that 24.8 million Americans lost $8.9 billion in 2018. That’s almost half of NASA’s budget for that year.
It was said that 30 percent of the telemarketing calls were made from PPI claims companies. Free vacation scams were the fastest growing type of scam, closely followed by credit card debt scams.
Other types of calls measured included ‘nuisance' calls, financial companies and telecoms operators, but the percentages they make were significantly smaller.
What makes it worrying is that scams have doubled from 8 percent to 16 percent. All this happened despite major providers have strengthened their filtering methods.
As for those who fell as victims, college graduates were more likely to fall for scams than people with no college education, and parents with a child under the age of 18 were also more likely to be scammed than those without.
The reasons for this significant rise of spams, came from robocalls, which are calls with prerecorded messages. While robocalls were frequently used for reminders by companies to their clients, this type of call has been increasingly used for promoting goods and services.
Thanks to technological advances, telemarketers are no longer bound by landlines, as they can deluge in calls using voice over IP (VoIP) services. This way, telemarketers can call every number they can find, with little effort or cost.
Other cause may come from database leaks. When companies holding client's phone numbers have their systems breached, hackers can get their hands on those personal numbers, to then sell them to third-parties with a price.
While Truecaller's report sounded worrying, the company actually didn't count data outside of its customer base. What this means, real results can vary. Another report from a robocall blocking service called YouMail reported 28.5 billion spam calls occurring in the U.S. within the first eight months of 2018. This is a figure far exceeding Truecaller’s numbers.