Unwanted spam calls are on the rise around the globe,and the situation is no different in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia is being more affected than its neighboring countries.The recently published Truecaller Insights: Top Spammers in Malaysia in 2017 report reveals that in Malaysia, the average Truecaller user receives more than 7 spam calls each month, compared to 4 spam calls monthly in Singapore and Thailand and 2 per month in Vietnam. However, Malaysian residents will be glad to know that so far, Truecaller has helped its users in Malaysia identify over 4.3 million spam calls, just this year alone.
Globally, there are a number of common categories that tie all spam calls together, with some of the most common being unsolicited finance and insurance product offerings along with telemarketing and debt collection calls. Other unwanted calls include operator nuisance and scam calls.
“Spam calls and SMS is a global phenomenon, and recently we’ve seen an uptake from users suffering from this hassle in Malaysia,” said Alan Mamedi, CEO & co-founder of Truecaller. “Truecaller is substantially improving people’s lives and we look forward to being able to help even more people by making their communications safe and efficient.”
A closer look at spam calls in Malaysia
One major driver of spam calls in Malaysia a refinancial services that account for 67% of spam calls. Typically, these are banking product offers or cold calls from credit card companies.Another major spam call problem that Malaysians have to deal with is telemarketing calls at 13% of total spam calls. Telemarketing calls can further be broken down into promotional calls from companies, surveys being done by analytics firms on behalf of their clients, or new client outreach for services and subscriptions.
Rounding off the spam call list in Malaysia are insurance calls at 9% and operator calls at 4%. Debt collection, nuisance and scam calls make up 6% of spam calls.
Ways to counter spammers
In Malaysia, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) enables consumers to officially write to any company that is using their contact details for marketing,to ask for the company to stop marketing to them. Companies that do not comply with the written notice from the consumer are liable to be fined up to RM200,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both. However, it can be tedious for consumers to identify every company marketing to them and to send a written notice, and to later lodge an official complaint to the authorities if the marketer does not comply.
Truecaller makes it simple for everyone to look at their Caller ID and know who’s calling, even if the number is not stored in their phonebook. Truecaller also enables users to block calls as well as SMS and report spam callers and messages, allowing the larger community of users to avoid the spammers too. Currently, more than 250 million people around the world are enjoying the benefits of using Truecaller. So, even unidentified foreign numbers can be vetted with Truecaller, currently available for Android and iOS.