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Q2 2023 Spam Trends: Insights from WhoWho Report

Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

In a recently released report, VP, the executive behind the popular spam-blocking application WhoWho, unveiled some alarming spam statistics:

Why it matters: Monitoring spam trends provides insight into current digital communications challenges and risks and reflects broader societal and regulatory dynamics.

The Key Points

  1. Top Spam Categories:
  • Stocks/Investments: This remains the dominant category, with 2.49 million reports (41.8% of the total). However, it's down 28% year-over-year and 7.4% quarter-over-quarter, indicating waning investor sentiment due to ongoing stock investment scams.
  • Illegal gambling/amusements: Reports fell 12.3% sequentially to 1.08 million (18.0%). This was due to government crackdowns on illegal gambling and stricter casino regulations.
  • Credit applications: Accounted for 0.99 million (16.7%) of all reports.
  • Voice phishing: Contributed to 0.29 million (4.8%).
  • Insurance solicitations: Although only 0.23 million (3.9%) of the total, this category saw an astounding 20.9% increase from the previous quarter.

The surge in insurance spam: The sudden rise in insurance spam is particularly worrying.

Most cases are attributed to personal data breaches or hacking, while some victims have unwittingly agreed to marketing pitches when signing up for services.

KISA offers a 'Find My Information' service for individuals concerned about data breaches. This allows users to verify data breaches and take corrective action.

To combat the rise in unwanted insurance solicitations, users can opt out of personal credit information through their respective financial institutions.

The Big Picture: While the South Korean government is taking legislative changes and increased penalties to combat illegal spam, individual platforms, including WhoWho, are also playing a role.

They provide tools for real-time detection of spam calls and dubious URLs.

The VP of WhoWho stressed the importance of user reports and reiterated the platform's commitment to minimizing the damage caused by spam.