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Vodafone targets scam calls with new AI security tool

Article ImageSystem scans database of known scammers to warn consumers

Vodafone Germany is working with RealNetworks to create a service capable of warning customers of potential scam calls.

Dubbed CallProtect, the service uses technology from RealNetworks' KONTXT, an AI-based anti-spam solution for messaging and voice calls.

There were 31.3 billion spam calls identified in 2020, according to figures from Truecaller. German users experienced a 685% increase in bogus calls during the first year of the pandemic alone, firmly among the top 20 countries affected by spam callers.

"Global fraudulent call activities increased substantially since the outbreak of the pandemic, which led to the launch of this initiative," said Mathias Grünwald, director of sales at RealNetworks.

The technology works by matching incoming calls against a database to verify if the caller is known spam or scam number. If a positive match is detected, an informational message is displayed on the user's phone letting them reject the call.

The CallProtect pilot will use RealNetworks's database of known spam numbers and be integrated into the Vodafone Secure Net service for Android.

Secure Net is a mobile network-based security product for Vodafone customers' mobile devices. When connected to the Vodafone mobile network in Germany, it automatically blocks harmful sites and protects against viruses before they can cause harm.

Secure Net users will be able to activate and deactivate the CallProtect service, which will be provided for free to existing Vodafone Secure Net users in Germany.

The pilot project will be active for six months, with the overall goal to gain insights into user acceptance and assess the performance of the service.

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