A significant increase in spam calls from foreign numbers has been reported by WhatsApp users in India during the previous few days.
In response to the Indian Government's call to send notice to WhatsApp on International scam calls, a WhatsApp spokesperson said : "Protecting the privacy and security of users is fundamental to Meta and to WhatsApp. Our users are at the heart of everything we do and we are fully aligned with the Government's goal of keeping users safe. WhatsApp is a leader among end-to-end encrypted services in protecting user safety".
We continue to provide several safety tools within WhatsApp like Block & Report, consistently build user safety education and awareness, as well as, proactively weed out bad-actors from our platform. However, bad actors find different ways to scam users. International scam calls is a new way that bad actors have recently adopted. By giving a missed call, they lead curious users to call or message back only to get scammed.
Therefore, we have quickly ramped up our AI & ML systems to bring down such incidents significantly. Our new enforcement will reduce the current calling rate by at least 50% and we expect to be able to control the current incidence effectively. We will continue to work relentlessly towards ensuring a safe experience for our users."
Recently, reports of people receiving random WhatsApp calls and messages from supposedly international numbers have flooded Twitter. Most of these calls come from phone numbers that start with +251 (Ethiopia), +60 (Malaysia), +62 (Indonesia), +254(Kenya), and +84 (Vietnam). Although they carry the country codes, the calls can be made from any part of the world as WhatsApp calls are done via the internet and there are agencies that sell international numbers for WhatsApp calls in different cities.