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 Malaysia has been listed as one of the top 20 countries affected by scam calls, according to a survey conducted by mobile application Truecaller. (File pic)
Malaysia has been listed as one of the top 20 countries affected by scam calls, according to a survey conducted by mobile application Truecaller. (File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been listed as one of the top 20 countries affected by scam calls, according to a survey conducted by mobile application Truecaller.

The third edition of the Truecaller Insights Report by Swedish Truecaller, a mobile application to identify and block incoming calls, flash-messaging and call-recording which uses the Internet, showed that Malaysia received the most number of scam calls at 63 per cent.

The Stockholm-based company published the report on the impact of spam calls around the world on Dec 3.

Spam calls are irrelevant messages sent over the phone to a large number of recipients.

Other newly-listed countries are the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Nigeria and Egypt.

“Malaysia is the market that receives the biggest percentage of scam calls in the world at 63 per cent.

“Most of the calls are from financial services (21 per cent), insurance (10 per cent), operators (five per cent) and debt collectors (one per cent).

“For the past 12 months, Malaysia has seen a 24 per cent increase in spam calls, from 6.7 to 8.3 spam calls per month. Scam calls from fake insurance and debt collectors are common. The Macau and Astro scams too have been flooding the market over the past year.

“Scammers also pretend to be calling from local post delivery services. They would say that a package is stuck somewhere and that they need you to pay before they can release it,” the report said.

Brazil ranked first in the list. Most of the spam calls were from the “Wangiri” scam where an unknown number gives a missed call and when the call is returned, the caller will be charged a hefty fee. Fake kidnap calls asking for ransom are also common in the country.

The report said the Truecaller app managed to block and identify 26 billion spam calls, an increase of 18 per cent from last year. It identified 116 billion unknown calls, a 56 per cent increase compared with last year’s figure.

Malaysia is ranked at No. 15 for countries that received the most spam text messages. The top three countries are from the African continent.

It was found that Ethiopians receive the most spam text messages in the world, with an average of 119 messages on a monthly basis.

The app also identified 8.6 billion spam text messages globally. The study was conducted from Jan 1 to Oct 31.

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