Even though unsolicited phone calls and texts from telemarketers are on the decline, spam from internet and messaging apps like WhatsApp is on the rise, say industry experts.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad stated in the Rajya Sabha that the number of complaints lodged by consumers on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) portal (www.nccptrai.gov.in) about spam calls first rose after the passage of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (2010) and has now begun to decline.
The minister added that the Indian government has fined service operators who failed to take action to the tune of Rs.7.13 crore, blacklisted 19 telemarketers permanently and blacklisted another 2.4 lakh for two years, in an effort to curb spam.
However, industry experts state that these steps may not be enough as the government’s regulation that curbed spam calls and texts does not apply to messaging apps like WhatsApp. Read: Messaging apps in India see massive 113% growth over last 2 years
“Spam sent over WhatsApp, Internet-based spam calls and spam messages — the current regulations do not cover it, and this is a major new front for unsolicited calls and messages,” stated Rajan Mathews, Director-General of the Cellular Operators Association of India.
According to a recent Kaspersky Lab report, India is ranked 6th in source of world's spam, sending almost 3.43% of unwanted mail and South Korea remains the leader in spam distribution to European users (48.6 %). According to the report the launch of iPhone 6 and the Ice Bucket Challenge initiative, were the two main topics that spammers used to promote junk mails globally. Read: Gmail,Yahoo make phone number mandatory for new email id's