India Ranks 4th in the Spam Olympics
What did you get for Christmas this year? Whether you were naughty or nice, there’s a very good chance you got spam calls this holiday season. With nearly 440 million active mobile users in the country, India has become a new hub for spam callers. In fact, according to the Global Spam Report published by a smartphone application, India ranks fourth in terms of spam calls. The data from this report suggests a single spammer made over 202 million over the past year. That is 6,64,00 calls per day, 27,000 calls per hour, and most of these wonderful calls arrive right in the middle of our busy office hours.
What are spam calls?
Here’s a quick refresher on spam calls; Anyone trying to reach you to sell a product or service, real or fake, without your explicit consent, is spam. The problem runs far deeper since spam calling is a very cost-effective model used by spammers and cybercriminals who cast a wide net to lure unsuspecting victims. They target people across demographics and all they need is a mobile phone number. In addition, they pose a significant threat in terms of theft and with just one wrong click will install malware in your mobile phone, which gives them access to sensitive information like your passwords, bank account details, private photos, etc. There are even scammers who trick unaware users with the promise of lotteries, offers, and cash prizes and get the victims to give them up their bank details, OTP, their KYC information or download an app through which they can gain unrestricted access to the target’s system. Even while the country was struggling to breathe during the pandemic, fraudsters tricked people with the promise of oxygen cylinders, hospital beds and medicine. With more of our lives shifting to the online domain, we are in a golden era of cyber-crime. In an annual report published by the Reserve Bank of India for FY 2020-21, frauds related to cards & internet fraud led to a loss of INR 1.19 billion.
Keeping spam away
What can you do to stay safe from the scourge of spam calls? Awareness is a good first step. Do not disclose OTPs or give any information to sources you don’t trust. Do not click any links from unrecognised numbers. Follow good digital hygiene.
It’s difficult to eliminate spam calls from our lives because we have to give our numbers at shopping malls, grocery stores, different websites to avail their services. They often sell this data to third-party vendors who become the source of spam calls. One way to protect your private phone number is to give them a Doosra number. With Doosra, you can get a second number without a sim card that will automatically block all calls from spammers and scammers and afford you some peace of mind.
In 2021, Doosra has blocked 5.58 lakh spam calls and 22.5 lakh messages.