Meta-owned WhatsApp on Thursday said it has taken stern action on the growing menace of International scam calls in India, after the government took cognisance of the issue and announced to send a notice to the platform over the issue.
The platform, which has over 500 million users in the country, said it has ramped up its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems to bring down such incidents significantly.
“Our new enforcement will reduce the current calling rate by at least 50 per cent 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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said that the IT Ministry will send a notice to WhatsApp on the issue of spam calls from unknown international numbers, stressing that social media platforms are responsible for ensuring the safety and trust of users.
These spam calls with international numbers, mostly from African and Southeast Asian countries, along with fake messages from unknown users, flooded WhatsApp users in India.
The spam calls showed country codes of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Ethiopia, among others. Most of these calls started with +251 (Ethiopia), +62 (Indonesia), +254 (Kenya), +84 (Vietnam) and other countries.
WhatsApp said that international scam calls are 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.
“We continue to provide several safety tools within WhatsApp like Block and 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,” the company spokesperson noted.
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