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SA in top 20 countries most plagued by scams, spam calls – report

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Almost half (49%) of all spam calls in South Africa were scam-related, with a dramatic rise in the number of scam calls over the past year.

South Africa has just been ranked as one of the top 20 countries that receive the most spam telephone calls and unwanted messages. Photo: The Independent

Cape Town – South Africa has just been ranked as one of the top 20 countries that receives the most spam telephone calls and unwanted messages, according to a report released by the popular caller identity detection software Truecaller.

Truecaller released its findings as an Insight Report, a look into the top 20 countries affected by both spam SMS and calls in 2019.

The third edition of the report highlights that nuisance and unsolicited calls continue to be on the rise around the globe.

Kim Fai Kok, communications and founding team member for Truecaller, said almost half (49%) of all spam calls in South Africa were scam-related, with a dramatic rise in the number of scam calls over the past year.

Kim said they could see a
significant shift in which countries received the most spam calls, “and it was clear that the problem was not slowing down, at all”. According to the report, South Africa has been listed in the top six countries that received spam calls and in the top two to be affected by spam SMSes.

The most common scam is the one-ring scam: 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 that number.

The second scam affecting South Africans, according to the report, is the job offer scam. The caller pretends to be a headhunter
with the offer of a job, but a fee must be paid in order to get it.

The third one involves tech
support fraud, where someone
pretends to call from one’s bank or a company, saying that the recipient’s account has been hijacked and their help is needed to take control of it.

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