Vodafone Launch Scam Signal to Tackle UK Impersonation Fraud

Telecoms giant Vodafone UK, specifically their business focused Carrier Services (wholesale) division, has launched a new service called Scam Signal that allows businesses to protect their customers from impersonation scams, such as Authorised Pushed Payment (APP) fraud.

APP fraud typically 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.

The new Scam Signal service, which is part of Vodafone’s suite of Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs), is designed to tackle this by enabling financial institutions to identify and thwart fraudulent bank transfers as they occur in real-time. The system leverages advanced analysis of real-time network data during live transactions to help it detect and mitigate social engineering attempts aimed at deceiving and defrauding account holders.

Statistics published by the UK government show that 1 in 15 people have fallen victim to fraudulent activity. In 2022, more than £485m was lost to APP fraud alone. As new UK legislation mandates that banks reimburse customers for fraudulent transaction losses, financial institutions are looking to adopt better protections to help tackle the problem.

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.”

Scam detection is said to have improved by 30% after only three months of a successful pilot of this service with a leading UK bank. At present the service is only being made available to businesses in the UK, but other markets are planned to follow.

The introduction builds on the launch of other APIs in several markets to improve online verification and security, including SIM Swap and Number Verify (see details). These APIs use common open standards defined by the global alliance CAMARA in conjunction with the GSMA industry body.

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