Telemarketing calls are nothing short of a nuisance and the people of India are sick and tired of these. To add to the woe, now telemarketers and scammers are messaging and calling on WhatsApp, Telegram, and other such messaging apps that people use. They even try to contact people from international numbers.
What to do?
If you are also receiving calls from international numbers, ensure to never pick up the calls or respond via messaging. Additionally, you ought to block and report those numbers. Most of the calls come from numbers that start with +254(Kenya), +251 (Ethiopia), +62 (Indonesia), +60 (Malaysia), +62 (Indonesia), and +84 (Vietnam).
How does the scamming work?
Some agencies sell international numbers for WhatsApp calls. So, the country codes do not hold any significance because the calls can be made from anywhere in the world, even from the city or state of your residence.
If you pick up any such calls, you would be given a lucrative part-time job offer for doing minuscule work from home. They would pretend to call from a reputed company. They might give you a small incentive for completing a task when you work for them in the beginning.
And once you gain their trust in them, they shall ask you for money for a better-paying job or ask for confidential and sensitive information like bank details. The way goes downhill from there for you as you could end up losing all your money in the process.
Truecaller’s reports and initiative
Truecaller reported in 2021 that people in countries like India get an average of about 17 telemarketing or spam calls every month and this continues to increase. In February, the telecom regulator of India directed carriers like Airtel and Jio to initiate blocking telemarketing and spam calls over their networks by using AI filters.
To bring the situation under control, Truecaller shall start to make its caller ID service available over WhatsApp and other messaging apps. On Monday, the company told Reuters that this feature would allow users to spot spam calls over the internet.
Alan Mamedi, Chief Executive of Truecaller, said the feature is currently in beta and would be rolled out globally in May. He added, “Over the last two weeks, we have seen a spike in user reports from India about spam calls over WhatsApp.”
As reported by users
Nithin Kamath, CEO of Zerodha, shared an incident where his friend lost Rs. 500000 via WhatsApp. Twitter users have also tweeted about getting missed calls from unknown international numbers that ring only once three times consecutively. Most of these numbers would have the image of a lady as the display picture.
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WhatsApp says that they use spam detection technology to identify and take action against users engaging in anomalous behavior. The messaging platform also allows its users to block and report accounts.