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August 18, 2022
UK operator EE is using a new AI infused anti-spam firewall to bat away a flood of scam calls and texts from fraudsters, and has blocked 11 million calls since it spun up in July.
EE has deployed some new firewall technology which uses AI to review calls passing through UK Calling Line Identification from other countries, and blocks those pretending to be based in the UK – an indicator that there’s a fraudster on the other end of the line.
It deployed the new software to slap back spam calls last month, and as such is able to reveal some stats which give an indication of just how much fraudulent communication is inbound to the UK from overseas. 11 million scam calls have so far been blocked for EE, BT and Plusnet customers since the rejigged protections were put into place, and it’s now averaging at up to a million intercepted calls a day.
Apparently the scam callers use a UK number disguise to look legitimate, and are often run by international scam networks for the purposes of fraudulently acquiring personal information, access to devices and bank details. The new tech protections block these calls and stops them from being further forwarded to other networks as well.
“We are investing in the latest technology to ensure as many scam calls as possible are blocked before they reach our customers,” said Chris Howe, Customer Care Change Director at EE. “Everyone should feel confident answering their phone or reading a text message without the fear of potentially getting scammed. This new international call blocking technology, combined with the 200 million scam texts blocked from our mobile network, means our customers can count on EE to have the safest network”.
There have been warnings from various US and UK intelligence agencies that cyberattacks and other tech based fraud have been on the rise since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March this year. A lot of the advice given – don’t give out sensitive details over the phone, don’t reply to weird looking emails – might seem obvious to some but plenty of others get scammed, which is of course why fraudsters still attempt it. Basic conscientiousness of your own data is always useful, but the other half of the battle will always be about rolling out more advanced protection technology.
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