[This is a sponsored article with Truecaller.]
There are about 29 million Malaysians who own smartphones. That means about 90% of the country’s population are prime targets for spam and scam calls.
However, not all spam is designed to steal your money. The ones that do however can lead to devastating effects like causing families to lose their savings.
Swedish caller ID developer Truecaller aims to help prevent this. Their app has over 300 million users worldwide and has detected and blocked 37.8 billion fraudulent calls in 2021 alone.
Their 2021 report on spam and scams gives us an insight into how Malaysia has fared this year and how badly spam calls have affected us.
What are the types of spam calls we get?
The most number of calls received by Malaysians this year come from financial service companies.
This isn’t surprising because with the pandemic stripping many Malaysians of their income and savings, Truecaller believes that these establishments aimed to capitalise on the people’s financial vulnerability.
Each Malaysian is likely to receive over three of these calls per month with shady individuals trying to get them to sign onto some sort of loan, insurance package, or investment opportunity.
If you find that annoying—because who doesn’t—Truecaller uses its wide database to either block or indicate on your screen a suspicious number when you receive a call.
The same number-identification feature spills over to SMS messages and WhatsApp texts as well. Marked contacts are labelled according to categories such as scammers, gambling, property agents, and more.
Saving your savings
Besides financial services, telemarketing and scam-related calls were also frequent based on Truecaller’s report.
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) reported that they received over 2,000 complaints on financial scams between January and September.
To put this into perspective, The Star reported that through Macau phone scams, Malaysians have lost a whopping RM287.3 million as of 2020.
To counter this issue, Truecaller lets users tag numbers with relevant categories such as finance, F&B and more. These tags will give you more information on who’s on the other side of the line so you can choose whether or not to answer.
All contacts identified as spam have profiles that are listed in the category within the app. You can always check and stay clear of them.
Tap on these profiles and you’ll be presented with information regarding how many times the caller has been reported by other Truecaller users, a rough breakdown of its call activities, and other user comments regarding their experience with these companies.
The app is also capable of correctly identifying dodgy numbers almost 90% of the time, so you’re in safe hands.
But for added security, you can always check with Bank Negara’s list of licensed financial institutions to see if the number calling you is legit.
Interestingly, Truecaller says that 99% of offenders are based in Malaysia, which shows how active our local spam and scam scene is.
If you’re worried that you’d reject important calls from bona fide companies by accident, Truecaller has a feature called Verified Business Caller ID which validates genuine numbers. Their identification will be shown to you when they call.
Furthermore, there are premium features too that give you the ability to view profiles without alerting them, see who views your profile, schedule ghost calls to help you get out of awkward situations, and caller ID announcements that tell you who’s calling without the need for you to check your phone.
However, all the important features that you need to keep yourself safe are free to use. You simply need to download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and set it as your default dialer.
- Learn more about Truecaller here.
Featured Image Credit: Truecaller