Truecaller, the popular app for detecting and blocking spam calls and messages, has named the top 20 countries affected by spam calls in 2018. According to the report, the top three countries most affected are Brazil, India and Chile. The report also shows that over 17.7 billion spam calls were blocked out of a total of 74.1 billion phone calls.
— Truecaller (@Truecaller) December 18, 2018
These are pretty impressive statistics.
But surprisingly, and for the first time, Nigeria did not make the list of countries affected by spam calls. Last year Nigeria ranked prominently at number 9 on the list, with Truecaller stating the country witnessed 10.4 spam calls per telecom user.
Things appear to have changed this year.
Although Trucaller didn’t provide statistics for Nigeria, it does appear that spam calls in the country has dropped significantly. Which possibly explains why Nigeria isn’t on the list. Based on the top 20 Truecaller spam list, the country with the least amount of spam calls is Israel with around 8.5 spam calls per telecom user.
— The Verge (@verge) December 18, 2018
Using this number, it’s safe to put current spam calls in Nigeria anywhere below 8.5 calls per user. And this represents a notable decrease and solace for the Nigerian telecom user.
Spam calls have been a huge problem for Nigerians for quite a long time. But it has only grown worse over the last few years.
Interestingly though, in most places of the world they are attributed to telemarketers and banks advertising unique offers and retails services. However in Nigeria, telecom operators themselves have been its real cause and this has made a holistic solution extremely difficult to achieve.
In 2016, the NCC resolved to address the issue once and for all. It introduced a Do-Not-Disturb feature that allowed users opt-in to block spam calls and text messages.
In 2017, the number of users using the feature was 5.5 million. Today, over 9 million out of the country’s 100 million mobile subscribers have activated the DND feature.
A Full DND which is SMS "STOP" to 2442 does not allow the subscribers to receive any unsolicited message from the operators at all.
— ncc.gov.ng (@NgComCommission) July 3, 2016
This perhaps explains why Nigerian phone users are witnessing less spam calls.
Yet, the DND feature has a major problem. It doesn’t block spam messages from telecom operators. And this still leaves subscribers vulnerable to spam.
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