In fact, Truecaller's recent Insights Report found that the US has the dishonorable distinction of being the eighth most spammed nation in the world, with spam calls making up 13 percent of all calls and the average user getting almost 17 spam calls per month.
The study from the Stockholm, Sweden-based company, founded in 2009 by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam, outlining which countries are most impacted by spam calls -- Brazil is the number one -- also found that the number of insurance-related calls, in which scammers pose as insurance salespeople, has skyrocketed from two to 39 percent of calls, over the past year.
"Unsolicited calls from insurance companies have become the biggest category of spam calls in the US market," said Nick Larsson, Head of Growth & Partnerships at Truecaller. "This data echoes the feedback that we're hearing from the community and the news."
Debt collector spam calls, which attempt to force victims to hand over personal identity or financial info, trail just behind, having jumped from seven to 33 percent. Truecaller data also found that nine percent of all spam calls today come from robocalls.
But whether it's a Nigerian prince in need of a donation, an IRS investigative team in need of your immediate assistance, a Microsoft tech support team member wanting to fix your computer, a charity asking for donations or someone trying to sell you on an investment opportunity, a loan or a prize-winning that requires an advance payment, spam calls are not just annoying but costly.
According to previous research by Truecaller that was conducted by Harris Poll (part of Nielsen), a record 24.9 million Americans lost $8.9 billion in phone scams this past year. That means one in every 10 adults who've been victimized by phone scams lost an average of $357 per victim.
The good news, though, according to Truecaller, is that there's been an 18 percent decrease in spam calls compared to last year. Truecaller, which now boasts over 9.2 million users in the US and has helped users block and identify over 118.2 million spam calls, can take some of the credit for this.
"Spam calls remain a big problem in the US despite the slight decrease we have seen the last year," said Larson. "By further educating consumers of the risks associated with talking to fraudsters over the phone, we hope that we can support this positive trend and eliminate spam calls for good."
To combat these spammers, Truecaller recommends installing an app that shows users caller IDs, even if the number is not stored in their phonebook, so they know who's calling and can filter out and block known spammers as well as report new ones, so others don't fall victim to their schemes.
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- Truecaller's recent Insights Report found that the US is the eighth most spammed nation in the world, with spam calls making up 13 percent of all calls and the average user getting almost 17 spam calls per month.
- The same study found that the number of insurance-related calls, in which scammers pose as insurance salespeople, has skyrocketed from two to 39 percent of calls, over the past year.
- RoboKiller app fight Robocalls by using bots to turn the tables
- The 5 best Android password managers to keep safe your passwords
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- Truecaller anti-spam app adds WhatsApp-like text messaging platform
- Ajit Pai's FCC gives carriers the option to block text messages (CNET)
- Spam is getting smarter and we're still falling for it (ZDNet)
- Top 5 ways to block spam calls (TechRepublic)