Telstra comes down harder on suspected scam calls

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Telstra comes down harder on suspected scam calls

Doubles number blocked per month to 'around 13 million'.

Telstra said it has more than doubled the number of suspected scam calls it is blocking every month.

Asia Pacific CISO Narelle Devine said in a blog post that the telco is “now blocking around 13 million suspected scam calls on average per month from reaching end customers, which is a two-fold increase on the 6.5 million suspected scams calls we were blocking just four months ago.”

“Over the past few months, we’ve implemented a few new upgrades to our platform to catch even more suspicious calls, making our blocking strategy more aggressive with the ability to detect more types of scam calls than before,” she said.

Devine said that some of the improvements were aimed at filtering out ‘Wangiri’ calls, which originated in Japan decades ago and translate as ‘one ring and cut’.

They rely on the recipient trying to call back and racking up big expenses on an international or premium service.

Devine said Telstra is “also improving methods to detect and block scam calls” with spoofed caller ID.

She added that the telco had to balance how aggressively it blocked calls.

“We are very careful not to block legitimate calls that could prevent customers from connecting,” she said.

“That, combined with the fact that scammers are always finding new tactics means that no technology platform will ever stop scam calls entirely and we’re working hard to continue evolving our algorithms and detection methods to block existing and future scamming tactics.”

The scam call blocking is occurring under a Telstra initiative known as ‘cleaner pipes’, which has a wider remit to remove “phishing, malware, ransomware and other scams” that run across Telstra network infrastructure. 

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