Among the first apps that many Kenyans install on their lovely, smart handhelds, I’m fairly certain that TrueCaller is one of them. It is a popular app because it easily identifies unknown persons/numbers (provided TrueCaller has their numbers in their database or has flagged them as spam), and can block them with ease. While I find its operation quite distasteful and intrusive based on its unwarranted pop-ups even after I have deactivated the feature, it is a fine application that has gained popularity according to Google Play Store rankings.
TrueCaller has noted that spam calls and SMS are on the rise, where most of them are just scams targeting gullible or uninformed persons with a bunch of lies. For instance, the scams are so rampant (Equitel users can attest to this) a day hardly goes by without receiving deceptive texts.
Check these out…
“Dear Member! Your Account Has Been Joined With Anothar Account Of JANET RUTO.We Are Sorry For Inconvinience,for Asisstance Call\sms 0780961004,EQUITY BANK”
“Congratulations! from LOTTO K24 live,You’re the lucky winner of KSH100,000.00. for more information call 0788909655: NB: DONT PAY ANYTHING.EQUITY BANK.”
“Dear Equitel customer, MPESA softloan Now Available at 5% interest @ksh10,000/=, Ksh100,000/=, Ksh200,000/=, Call/text via: 0707965699 or 0707965529.”
Based on a report done by TrueCaller, all spam calls that were made in the Kenya (in 2017) were 91% scam because they were made by people and not businesses. These are disturbing statistics that made the country secure a spot in the top 20 countries affected by spam calls (at number 20). Other African countries in the list are South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria. At number one is India that is plagued spam calls from financial institutions that sell services to users, like special offers on data and unlimited calls, to name a few.
According to the firm, the data for their report was collected from January 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017.
“The data in this article was aggregated anonymously from incoming calls that either has been marked as spam by users – or automatically been flagged by TrueCaller during the period of January 1st, 2017 to May 31st, 2017 to understand the monthly average spam rate. During this period of time, our users received over 5.5 billion spam calls,” stated the report.
TrueCaller categorizes spam calls according to nuisance (pranks, harassment etc.), telemarketing (promotional calls), operators (to sell plans), financial services, debt collection, scam and political.