Truecaller enables users to identify, stop spam calls

IT’S a cautionary tale for our times, borne out of a rising mix of increased online presence and growing paranoia amid a pandemic outbreak.

Back in 2019, the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) mentioned that 5,725 cases were reported involving RM254.5mil in losses.

These cases continued to spike to 6,003 cases last year with total losses increasing to RM287.3mil. Late April this year saw nearly 1,400 cases with losses amounting to RM38.1mil.

In most of these cases, the scammers would call up potential victims and pose as persons of authority, such as a policeman or a Bank Negara officer.

These cons will then lie to the victims that a crime has been committed and they were implicated and that they need to allow Bank Negara Malaysia access to their accounts in order to prove their innocence.

These Macau scams have used telephone calls to victimise their targets, which is categorised as a telecommunications fraud.

But there are ways to filter out these scammers so you are better prepared or guarded when they come calling.

Spam filter

As the leading global platform for verifying contacts and blocking unwanted communication, Truecaller has about 300 million active users monthly.

Achieving this milestone in November places it as one of the largest caller ID and spam detection services in the world and is a testament of the trust its users have in its ability to protect them from potential spam and scam calls.

Since October 2020, Truecaller has registered 50 million new active users globally, further developing the users’ safety net in just over a year.

It saw a growth of 42.5% active users in Malaysia and 62% in South-East Asia.

While Malaysia was not listed as Truecaller’s top 20 most spammed countries in the world does not mean Malaysians are invulnerable to spam calls.

When these calls are averaged out for a user every month, Malaysia falls in at number 32, and means that each Malaysian would receive 3.5 spam calls per user each month. Out of these, 99% are domestic in origin while the remaining 1% come from overseas.

On average, Truecaller users in Malaysia collectively receive over eight million spam calls per month with nine out of 10 being correctly identified by Truecaller.

This year alone in March and April an unusually high number of spam calls were received, with well over nine million calls each in both months. Another significant high was noted in September and October.

Power to users

Truecaller operates by enabling its users to name spammers, scammers, fraudsters or tag calls with an appropriate business or identity.

Advanced machine learning algorithms then crunch the data so that all Truecaller users can be best protected from spam and scam calls.

When a spammer gets a lot of spam reports, he/she can also get categorised as a top spammer and will get automatically blocked (users should turn on the option called ‘Block top spammers’ which is found in the app under Settings > Block).

All the content, either via calls or messages, is neither heard nor read by any person or machine at Truecaller. All its data is aggregated and anonymised so it cannot be traced to any one user.

Truecaller is listed as an Editor’s Choice App in Google Play Store and listed in 10 Top Free Communication Apps on Google App in Malaysia.

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