- Analysis and insight from security specialists and the increased use of AI technology has identified where updates to scam detection are needed to keep customers safe
- EE’s upcoming scam blocking technology will root out common scam tactics such as ‘Hi Mum, Hi Dad’ scams and help protect consumers from hard to spot scams
- 281 million spam texts and 105 million international scam calls have so far been blocked for EE, BT and Plusnet customers across the network
With criminals continuing to scam customers, EE is set to launch more advanced technology across its network to help keep customers safe and continue being the safest network in the UK. Through using AI technology and its security specialists, focus areas have been identified to address prevalent scams and those most likely to make it through existing defences.
This comes as EE announces plans for new technology updates to be rolled out across its network in the coming weeks and months. The new technology plans include:
- 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.
Following investments in its network security in recent years, 281 million spam texts have now been blocked through EE’s anti-spam filter, which proactively blocks spam text messages by analysing patterns of content as they reach EE’s network.
In addition, a further 105 million international scam calls have been blocked since 2022, with AI technology routing out scam calls from international locations posing to be from UK-based numbers for legitimacy. These numbers are often run by international scam networks for the purposes of fraudulently acquiring personal information, access to devices and, in some cases, bank details from the customer.
In addition, EE is also launching an intuitive 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. As part of its new look UK retail strategy which includes the new flagship EE Studio store in London and Experience stores throughout the UK, 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.
EE has been at the forefront of the fight against scammers having launched its text anti-spam filter in 2021 and international call blocking AI tech in 2022. The planned tech rollouts are a further example of EE’s commitment to protect its customers and provide the best customer service possible.
Jonny Bunt, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Consumer division of BT Group 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.”
EE’s top tips to avoid scams:
- Take a moment to stop and think and trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true or is suspicious, there’s probably a catch
- Don’t stay on the phone unless you’re 100% sure the caller is genuine
- Don’t give away any of your personal details or give anyone access to your computer – if you think you might have provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately
- Keep your device up to date with the latest software and firewall updates
What to do if you receive a suspicious call:
- Put the phone down and call back on a trusted number to verify the call
- Text the phone number and incident to 7726, free of charge, so your mobile phone provider can investigate
- Block numbers after reporting them
- Make others aware of these types of calls and the numbers they are coming from, so they are also in the know
As new call and text scams continue to develop, EE is working as part of a cross-industry alliance against scams, with Ofcom, ICO, National Cyber Security Centre and other mobile providers. EE works in collaboration to share data and intelligence to beat the scammers, to compliment the cross-industry reporting service 7726.
As part of BT Group, EE customers benefit from BT’s existing team of over 3,000 security specialists helping to keep its network and customers safe from cyber-attacks. BT Group leverages the latest developments in technology and innovation to protect the UK’s infrastructure and businesses, and to keep families safe online.
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