Year in Calling 2018

Year in Calling 2018: How the World Communicated Through Truecaller

Another year, another look back at the special moments, trials and triumphs for people around the world. This year at Truecaller, we look back at the Year in Calling 2018 and analyze how the world communicated through Truecaller. 

An app that has shaped the way we pick up calls and decide whom to speak with, Truecaller has been an essential tool in our communication from the valleys of Peru to the snowcapped Rockies of America, the windswept deserts of Egypt, to the urban streets in Kenya – we are all linked by wanting to connect. We’ve heard stories of Truecaller helping find missing people, boosting business relations, and creating hilarious moments over SMS and Flash Messaging.

Throughout the year, we release Truecaller Insights reports which deep dive into various statistics of spam calls patterns, and types of calls, like harassment calls. However, for our users, it’s also quite fun to take statistics on calling patterns (anonymously aggregated). You can see last year’s Year in Calling 2017 here.

Here is your Year in Calling

Every year we analyze how Truecaller helps to make communication safe and efficient through calls and SMS! In 2018, Truecaller users have made Truecaller their default dialer, which resulted in 21.7 billion calls made! That’s 2x more than the amount made last year.

Since the launch of our SMS feature in 2017, which allows users to organize the inbox from important to spam, users have sent 3.4 billion SMS!

The Rise of Spam Calls

There has been a rise around the world in spam calls, and as far as we see, it isn’t stopping. Many people are caught off-guard by an unknown phone call or SMS and may spend a lot of time trying to figure out if it’s worth it to pick up or call/text back. Thankfully, that’s where Truecaller comes in to help take the stress and mystery away from who is trying to get in touch with you.

In the U.S., every year we see the IRS Scams, and premium-rate scams known as the ‘One Ring Scam’, how dialing a wrong phone number could cost you, and also the infamous Neighbor Spoof. These scams are an easy way to cheat people because it plays with curiosity but also on the fear of missing out on something important.

This year, Truecaller users have been fighting back against spammers by helping Truecaller report and identify 132.1 million unique spam numbers, which resulted in 17.7 billion calls blocked and identified, and we’ve helped identify over 74.1 billion calls in general for our users!  That means that close to every fourth call that our users receive are spam calls. The Truecaller app replies on the community to report spammers in real time. It is the best way to quickly and easily notify someone across the world to be careful when picking up spam numbers.

20 Most Spammed Countries

Every year, our Truecaller Insights report analyzes what countries are being plagued by spam calls. Topping this year’s list, shockingly, Brazil has taken over India as the most spammed country in the world, with the average Truecaller user receiving 37.5 spam calls per month. This means that Brazil has seen an 81% increase of spam calls in a year! View full report here: http://blog.truecaller.com/2018/12/18/truecaller-insights-the-top-20-countries-affected-by-spam-calls-in-2018

Here is a further breakdown of the stats:

  • Although our Indian users are highly affected by spam calls there’s been a marginal decrease of spam calls in the market (1.5%.)
  • An interesting trend is that the USA has dropped from the 2ndhighest country affected by spam calls to the 8th– compared to last year. Despite the decrease of spam calls, the U.S. is still heavily affected by phone scams. 1 in every 10 American adults (10%) lost money from a phone scam in the past 12 months. With an average loss of $357 per victim, the result of these scams is projected to have cost 24.9 million Americans approximately $8.9 billion in total losses. Read more here: https://blog.truecaller.com/2018/04/26/truecaller-insights-usa-2018/
  • New markets to enter the list: Spain, Canada, Costa Rica, Poland, Dominican Republic.
  • There’s been a big increase of spam calls in European markets like Spain (100%), Greece (54.1%) and Italy (22.7%.) However, Turkey has seen a decrease of spam calls (18%.)
  • Compared to last year fewer African markets are in the Top 20 list: Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, and Nigeria. South Africa is the only country in the list – as a matter of fact the amount of spam calls has increased from 15 to 21 spam calls/months – that is a 40% increase!
  • Biggest trend: a lot of Latin American countries has entered the top spam list, and these countries are seeing the biggest increase of spam calls. Costa Rica being the country that has seen the highest increase in terms of percentage (330%.)

While we have identified over 132 million unique spammers this year, let’s break that down and have a closer look at our top spammers of the year. It seems to be 2018 was the year of the telemarketers because one number in South Africa made 6.9 million calls from just one number, while in India, a telemarketer made 43 million calls!

If you thought the spammers in the slammer were causing damage with calls, check out the messages. In India, one telemarketer sent 700 million SMS throughout 2018!!

Messaging

Spam SMS is a plaguing issue throughout the world. We have heard stories of our users receiving up to 40 spam SMS per day, making it nearly impossible to identify important SMS and OTPs from the spam. That’s why we’ve introduced different tabs and smart notifications to help users categorize and organize their inbox!

So, how many messages did Truecaller block in 2018? About 7.8 billion.

Who is the most chatty?

When it comes to what country is talking the most, Africa is topping the charts in calling and messaging! Chad becomes our new first place winner in the country that makes the most calls per user! We see that on a daily basis, on average, Chadian users are making 25.1 calls from Truecaller! In second place is Ethiopia with 21.5 calls, and third is Somalia (our winner the past two years in a row) is making 19.2 calls! The country making the least calls is Japan at1.2 calls per day.

When it comes to messaging, Tanzania takes home to gold with 16.6 SMS per day per average user! Close behind is Mayotte with 14.1 SMS, and third is Mozambique at 12.2 SMS. On the flip side, the countries that are messaging the least is the Netherlands, at 0.78 SMS per day and the Isle of Man at 0.8 SMS per day!

Tagging

Tags are put in place to give more context to what a call might be about. You can tag a number based on a broad range of categories such as Transportation, Banking/Finance, services (and more!), making it even easier, for example, to ID your cab driver or your bank when they call. Our top tags around the world are banks, doctors, education, restaurants, and hotels.

Notes and Methodology

The data in this article was aggregated anonymously from incoming and outgoing calls & messages during the period of January 1st, 2018 to October 31, 2018, top messaging and calling countries was anonymously aggregated from incoming and outgoing calls & messages for the month of October to understand the trends and usage. No context of any calls or messages was read. During this period of time, our users received 17.7 billion spam calls and 17.5 billion messages.