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EE UK Preps Upgrades to Enhance Anti-SPAM and SCAM Filters

Thursday, Sep 21st, 2023 (2:19 pm) - Score 2,848
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Broadband ISP and mobile network operator EE (BT) has announced that it is in the process of updating their existing SCAM and SPAM blocking technologies, which should enable them to root out additional scam tactics (e.g. “Hi Mum, Hi Dad” scams) and help protect consumers from hard to spot scams.

The operator reports that its existing filters – deployed across its entire UK network (including EE, BT and Plusnet) – have already blocked a total of 281 million spam texts and 105 million international scam calls from reaching customers since 2022.

NOTE: The “Hi Mum, Hi Dad” example refers to scams where a fraudster pretends to be a son or daughter, who then pressures the receiver into sending money or sharing personal / financial details (much like a real son / daughter 🙂 ).

The firewalls involved in this don’t merely harness linear block lists and also employ AI technology to help analyse the patterns of content and calls as they reach the network. The learnings from this are helping to enhance EE’s existing systems, which over the “coming weeks and months” will result in a number of updates being deployed – hopefully making their firewalls more effective.

Coming Updates

➤ Enhanced Call Protect – The AI technology will work to identify and clearly label nuisance and scam calls for EE mobile and BT Digital Voice customers, eliminating caller anonymity by verifying who is calling or labelling the call with a scam warning.

➤ International SMS blocking – Dedicated blocking to root out messages where special characters are used to disguise scam detection such as €€ instead of EE. This also includes SMS from international numbers and non-UK short codes.

➤ SMS blocking of trusted routes – Updates to existing AI technology to help detect the common ‘Hi Mum, Hi Dad’ scams. These are detected not only by reviewing the message itself, but also volumetric data on the number of messages sent from a certain number.

In addition, EE is also launching a new solution to customer ID checks known as Scan and Verify Yourself (SAVY) throughout its retail stores in the UK. This solution is provided by Onfido, a global identity verification provider. SAVY makes ID checks easier, using in-store tablets or a customer’s mobile in a simple step by step process with biometric verification. This means EE is able to safely and easily register new customers for accounts on their network and minimise numbers being provided to fraudulent scammers.

Jonny Bunt, BT Group’s Director of Regulatory Affairs (Consumer), said:

“The number of scams we’re managing to block on our network while impressive, is alarming at the same time. With the planned updates to our network technology, and through closely working with Ofcom, we’re helping take the fight to the scammers and target the most common tactics and trends to keep our customers safe.

We’re now also calling on the wider industry to increase their investment in technology to help block scams from reaching consumers and ensure bad actors are no longer able to profit from innocent honest people answering a call from a trusted number or a believable looking message.”

Remember, if you receive a suspicious call, put the phone down and try calling back via a trusted number. On mobile phones you can also text the phone number and incident to 7726, free of charge, so your mobile phone provider can investigate.

The Government are also increasing the financial penalties for those pestering people with nuisance calls and text (SMS) messages. But this probably won’t do much to stop calls made from outside the UK, although Ofcom are working on other solutions (here).

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ryan says:

    Been on the trial for this, very handy – Sort of like a built in truecaller(app).

    1. Avatar photo AK Khan says:

      Is it app based?
      Is it any different to what Samsung already build into their Galaxy range?
      What exactly is better than now?

    2. Avatar photo Ryan says:

      Calls from through with a label for eg ‘suspected scam’ ‘likely nusience’

      Very handy and has been right so far in anything picked up.

      They are adding more to it still. I believe it will flag up registered companies etc as well.

    3. Avatar photo Ryan says:

      *Come

      Should of said no app – its al done on their systems. and the tag comes through with the number.

  2. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

    That’s nice. Now are they going to spend anything on improving their shockingly bad app and web site?

    1. Avatar photo Paul says:

      Their app and website have recently changed.

  3. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    Whatever they are doing it is worth the effort. I am sick and tired of spam callers and spam texts.

  4. Avatar photo Shak says:

    It’s not working. Iv had 4 spam calls today alone

    1. Avatar photo Spammer says:

      It’s not launched yet…

  5. Avatar photo Very slow says:

    Any update?

Comments are closed

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