Truecaller To Offer WhatsApp Caller ID As Scams Surge

Smartphone caller ID service Truecaller is set to make its offerings available for WhatsApp and other messaging apps as scam calls surge over those platforms.

The feature is currently in beta and is set to roll out worldwide later in May, chief executive Alan Mamedi told Reuters.

The move comes as banks warn of a steep rise in online-based scams over the past year, with impersonation scams on WhatsApp tripling over the period.

Stockholm-based Truecaller is most popular in India, where it has 250 million out of its total 350 million global users.

Nuisance calls

The company found in 2021 that users in India typically get 17 marketing calls per month.

The country’s telecoms regulator in February ordered carriers to begin blocking telemarketing calls over their networks using artificial intelligence filters.

Perhaps as a result, over the past two weeks Mamedi said the company has seen a “spike” in user reports from India about spam calls over WhatsApp as telemarketers switch to internet calling.

WhatsApp says it users spam-blocking technology to detect and take action against accounts engaging in abnormal behaviour and allows users to block problematic accounts.

Caller ID on iOS

Truecaller in April added an iPhone version of its caller ID service, making use of Apple’s Siri Shortcuts and App Intents to offer the service.

Third-party caller ID services are more complex on iOS and must be triggered manually by the user.

The iOS caller ID feature is offered only to users who pay for the service, with tiers ranging from $0.99 (78p) per month per individual to $9.99 per month for family plans.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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