#TECH: App to protect you from scammers

KUALA LUMPUR: Scam calls have been a prevalent issue in Malaysia for many years. It is even more alarming since the pandemic.

According to statistics from the Royal Malaysia Police, 5,218 scam cases were reported between January to October 2020, with a total loss of RM256 million.

To help people from being scammed, Truecaller has come out with an app called “Truecaller”, which is a caller ID and spam blocking app. It is designed to make communications safe and efficient by unveiling the identity of each incoming call.

Since lockdowns were implemented worldwide, spam calls saw an overall decrease. However, the activity has increased by 9.7 percent per month from May onwards. October 2020 recorded the highest number of spam calls with a 22.4 percent increase, based on a recent analysis done by Truecaller.

Data shows that 97 percent of all spam calls in Malaysia comes from domestic numbers.

It also shows a big decrease in spam calls in the months of March and April, 2020, when strict curfews and lockdown was implemented in the country. And this probably has to do with quarantines and curfews, which limited access to certain equipment and technologies for telemarketers and scammers.

Truecaller data also shows that spam calls from financial services (95 percent) and insurance (50 percent) related calls have increased in the past year, while almost every fourth spam call is scam related.

Many of the frauds prey on the elderly, children and housewives. Scammers exploit by disguising as family, friends and also as the authorities where over a short conversation, many have fallen into their trap by giving out their hard-earned money.

“Truecaller is a revolutionary that is already making changes throughout the world. We studied and noted the amount of scam activity that is happening in the Southeast Asian region, especially Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, and realised the need to bring the app to this part of the world as well. The app is capable of protecting so many people from falling victims to malicious callers,” said Truecaller’s director of communications, Kim Fai Kok.

Since 2009, the Swedish-based company has made a significant impact in combating scammers. The app has assisted law enforcement agencies to fight crimes and even save lives. In one account, a mother used Truecaller to locate her kidnapped daughter.

Through the app, users can identify and filter unknown calls and texts from anywhere in the world.

With over 250 million active users on the platform, numbers are reported in real time to ensure everyone is always protected against unwanted calls.

On top of the Caller ID function, the app also features spam blocking, chat, SMS, intelligent dialler, smart integrations and many more.

Meanwhile, Truecaller premium users will have a call recording feature to record conversations when needed.

Truecaller is available for free on Google Play and Apple App Store.

Source: NST