South Africa sees a 191 percent increase in spam calls in just seven months

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While we might not get the food, spam is rife in South Africa and during lockdown Truecaller noted a significant increase in the number of spam calls in South Africa.

This information comes to us courtesy of the Truecaller Insights report which looks more closely at the top 20 countries affected by spam calls.

The most spammed country is Brazil where users receive an average of 49.9 spam calls per month.


South Africa ranks 17th on that list and here we “only” receive an average of 11.3 spam calls per user per month. While this is lower than the 25.2 spam calls South Africans received on average in 2019, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Between March and April, spam calls in South Africa fell by 59 percent. But as lockdown eased, spam calls came back into fashion with an increase of 191 percent between April and October.

This alarming trend can be seen worldwide where spam calls are happening 22 percent more frequently than before lockdowns were implemented.

In terms of what these spam calls entailed the majority of calls (32 percent) were regarding insurance, straight scams accounted for 28 percent of calls while spam from financial services accounts for 20 percent of spam calls. The remainder of the split follows below:

  • Operator – 10 percent
  • Debt collector – 5 percent
  • Telemarketing  – 5 percent

Curiously, more European countries received spam calls this year with Hungary, Poland, Spain, UK, Ukraine, Germany, Romania, Greece and Belgium featuring on Truecaller’s list where they didn’t feature before.

If you suspect that you have received a spam call we urge you to immediately end the call and block or ignore the number where possible.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.