In some countries, close to every fourth call that people receive are spam calls. In some countries, close to every fourth call that people receive are spam calls. In some countries, close to every fourth call that people receive are spam calls. (Photo: Studiostoks / Shutterstock)

If you don't want spam calls, move to this country

The number of unwanted phone calls spiked 300% worldwide this year, but some locales fare better than others.

If you got a lot of spam phone calls this year, you were not alone. It seems that every other call is from a toll-free number or a city where you don't know anybody. There's an off chance it might be important, so you answer it and instantly regret it. That dreaded recorded voice jumps on: Hello! (Pause.) Are you looking to consolidate your debt? Click.

Worldwide, spam calls jumped a whopping 300% in 2018. That's according to a new report just released by TrueCaller, a mobile app that crowdsources phone data.

And the people who get the most calls? That would be Brazilians, with an average of 37.5 spam calls a month. That's a little more than one a day. Even worse, Brazil's numbers spiked dramatically, up 81% from the previous year. The U.S. ranked No. 8 on the list, a marked improvement from last year's spot of second place.

Of the 20 countries listed in the report, it was Israel that clocked in with the least amount of spam calls. Israelis get only 8.5 spam calls per month. That seems reason enough to move to the Mediterranean country. (OK, there are myriad other reasons, too.)

In some countries, close to every fourth call that people receive are spam calls. TrueCaller ranked countries by the amount of spam calls their residents receive. (Photo: Courtesy)

"Digging deeper into the bigger markets, we found common categories that tie all these spam calls together," said TrueCaller's Kim Fai Kok. "We could also see that telemarketing calls from financial services, debt collectors and insurance-related matters are spamming our users globally."

In total, TrueCaller has identified 132 million unique spam numbers. An Indian telemarketer made 43 million calls from just one number, and a South African telemarketer made 6.9 million calls from just one number. The champion spammer, according to the company, is an Indian telemarketer that sent 700 million text messages in 2018 alone.

Here's hoping for fewer phone calls and a happier 2019!

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If you don't want spam calls, move to this country
The number of unwanted phone calls spiked 300% worldwide this year, but some locales fare better than others.