Source: CapeTownETC

WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform owned by Meta, has introduced a new feature called “silence unknown callers” to tackle the increasing problem of spam calls. This feature aims to provide users with an added layer of protection against unwanted calls and messages from unknown numbers.

Screening Out Spam and Scam Calls

The silence unknown callers feature automatically screens out spam, scams, and calls from unidentified individuals. This worldwide rollout addresses the rising issue of spam calls, particularly in countries like India where users reported receiving a high number of spam calls per month, according to a 2021 Truecaller report.

Enhancing User Control and Privacy

By redirecting unknown calls to the user’s call list, WhatsApp ensures that these calls do not ring on the platform. This allows users to still see missed calls from unfamiliar numbers, providing them with the opportunity to identify potential misidentifications. The goal is to offer users more control over their incoming calls and a safer experience overall.

WhatsApp Introduces New Privacy Features -
Source: Paul Thorott

Privacy Checkup for Added Security

In addition to the silence unknown callers feature, WhatsApp has also introduced Privacy Checkup. This feature guides users through steps to secure their messages, calls, and personal information. By implementing these measures, WhatsApp aims to prioritize user privacy and security.

Addressing the Surge in Spam Calls

The rise in spam calls from international numbers has become a significant concern for WhatsApp users, with over 500 million users worldwide reporting complaints. Countries such as Ethiopia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kenya, and Vietnam were particularly associated with this problem in recent months.

Meta’s Commitment to User Safety

Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, is actively working to mitigate the impact of spam calls by introducing the silence unknown callers feature. While Meta did not provide an immediate comment on the matter, a WhatsApp spokesperson highlighted that international scam calls have become a new tactic adopted by malicious actors.

The FTC’s Report on Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported a significant increase in scams, including online shopping scams, fake job opportunities, investment schemes, and deceptive prize offers. With approximately 2.4 million fraud reports received in the previous year, Americans lost about $8.8 billion to scams, reflecting a 30% increase compared to the previous year.

Image for article titled WhatsApp Releases 'Silence Unknown Callers' Feature to Take Down Spammers
Source: Meta

Government Action and Responsibility

India’s Minister of State for IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has taken notice of the surge in spam calls and issued a notice to Meta. Chandrasekhar emphasized the responsibility of platforms in ensuring safety, trust, and accountability for their users.

Meta’s Confidence in Spam Call Reduction

Meta is confident that its new security enhancements, including the silence unknown callers feature, will effectively reduce the volume of spam calls by at least 50%. The company remains dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure user experience on WhatsApp.

By introducing features like silence unknown callers and Privacy Checkup, WhatsApp and Meta are actively addressing the issue of spam calls and prioritizing user safety. These additions aim to provide users with more control over their WhatsApp communications and enhance their overall experience on the platform.

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Usman Kashmirwala
Your thoughts are your biggest asset in this world and as a content writer, you get a chance to pen down these thoughts and make them eternal. I am Usman Kashmirwala, apart from being a movie maniac, car geek and a secret singer, I am a guy lucky enough to be working in a profession that allows me to showcase my opinions and vision to the world every day and do my little part in making it a better place for all of us.