Vodafone Business launches scam signal to defend against impersonation fraud

Vodafone Carrier Services, the wholesale division of Vodafone Business and partner for communication service providers globally, has launched a new service called Scam Signal which allows businesses to protect their customers from impersonation scams, particularly Authorised Pushed Payment (APP) fraud. Scam detection using this service improved by 30% after only three months of a successful pilot with a leading UK bank.

JT Group Limited, a global technology leader delivering a range of connectivity and business solutions, working alongside global analytics software provider FICO, have become the first of Vodafone’s channel partners to offer Scam Signal with their mobile intelligence solutions.

APP fraud involves a criminal tricking someone into sending them money, often through impersonating representatives from banks, government departments, or even a family member. They can also deceive a victim into making advance payments for fraudulent investments, counterfeit goods and services, or even extort money through a seemingly genuine romance or friendship.

Scam Signal is part of Vodafone’s suite of Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs) providing a framework of computer rules that app developers and businesses can use to tackle online fraud and protect the digital identities of their customers.Contained within the secure Vodafone Identity Hub, Scam Signal API enables financial institutions to swiftly identify and thwart fraudulent bank transfers as they occur in real-time. Leveraging advanced analysis of real-time network data during live transactions, it effectively detects and mitigates social engineering attempts aimed at deceiving and defrauding account holders.

Fanan Henriques, Director of Vodafone Business International and EU Cluster, said: “Vodafone is using the intelligence in our networks to help financial institutions to protect consumers by tackling fraud at its source. Scam Signal provides both end users and banks with an additional layer of protection against scammers and peace of mind that their transactions are legitimate.”

Peter Stok, Global Head of Mobile Intelligence Strategy, JT Group, said: “Scam Signal represents a significant breakthrough in the fight against Authorised Push Payment fraud, directly meeting our customers' needs. It’s an essential part of JT’s Mobile Intelligence solutions, providing streamlined identity verification, discreet authentication, and instant fraud protection. Together with Vodafone, we are addressing a critical need, responding to a more than 20% increase in fraud last year alone. Our joint innovative approach positions us as market leaders, the first to offer such comprehensive defences.’’

The launch of Scam Signal is particular timely given the growing problem of APP fraud within the UK. Statistics published by the UK government show that 1 in 15 people have fallen victim to fraudulent activity. In 2022, more than £485 million was lost to APP fraud. As new UK legislation mandates that banks reimburse customers for fraudulent transaction losses, financial institutions are increasingly turning to innovative network-based APIs for enhanced protection.

Scott Taylor, Principal Consultant, FICO, said: “By providing Scam Signal through our Customer Communication Services (CCS), we can help banks crack down on scams and reduce consumer harm by applying contextual data and analytics-driven decision intelligence. Our recent survey showed that 73% of banking customers rank fraud protection in their top three considerations when choosing a bank - businesses that spot scam signals early can not only prevent losses but gain more customers through trust.”

Scam Signal is available to Vodafone Carrier Services channel partners within the UK, and other markets are set to follow. Its introduction builds on the successful launch of other APIs in several markets which improve online verification and security including SIM Swap and Number Verify. These APIs use common open standards defined by the global alliance CAMARA in conjunction the GSMA industry body.

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