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Nigeria in a spam jam

Nigeria in a spam jam

Nigeria is one of the top 20 countries affected by spam calls and SMS' globally, according to a recent report by Truecaller.

The Truecaller Insights Report 2019 says the average Truecaller user in Nigeria receives 8.4 spam calls per month - 20% higher than last year.

Truecaller says this year Brazil topped the list, with the average Truecaller user receiving 45.6 spam calls monthly. Brazil is followed by Peru and Indonesia at 30.9 and 27.9 spam calls respectively. This report had countries in North and South America dominating the list - they were: Mexico, Chile, USA, Colombia and Canada.

The other continent which featured prominently was Asia, parading countries like Indonesia, India, UAE, Sri Lanka, Israel, Lebanon and Malaysia, the company adds.

Besides Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt were the other African countries affected by spam calls, with the latter having the least record of spam calls in 2019.

For spam SMS', Nigeria ranked 7th among the top 20 countries affected. The average Truecaller user in Nigeria received 65 spam SMS' per month. However, Ethiopia came tops with the average Truecaller user receiving 119 spam SMS' per month, followed by South Africa with 114 and Kenya with 102 spam SMS' monthly.

In all, nine countries in Africa and nine countries in Asia dominated the list of recipients of spam SMS. Brazil and Colombia were the only American countries on the list, according to Truecaller.

The company added that users in Ghana received the least number of spam SMS.

"Of the spam calls and SMS received monthly by Truecaller users in Nigeria, 12% were scams. Calls and messages from operators made up 85% and telemarketing accounted for only 3% of spam calls and SMS. Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (UAE and Egypt had the bulk of spams from operators with such calls and SMS totaling 81%, 84% and 74% respectively. In Malaysia, Australia and Lebanon, scams accounted for 63%, 60% and 49% of spammers, while Israel had the most spam from political calls," the company stated.

In South Africa, majority of the spammers came from scam calls and SMS, totaling 39%.

Data protection

In September 2019 Truecaller denied allegations by the Nigerian government that its service breaches the privacy rights of telecoms subscribers.

ITWeb Africa reported that on 23 September 2019 Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) posted a statement via Twitter in which it outlined its intention to investigate the Truecaller service for potential breach of privacy rights of Nigerians.

Truecaller told ITWeb Africa that the users are in control of the permission they give the Truecaller app.

It stated: "We make sure users understand what permissions are needed to make Truecaller work how they want."

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