If you’re a Telstra customer and haven’t seen as many scam calls lately, there may be a reason why, and your telco is it.
There’s good news this week if you’re a Telstra customer, because one of the telco’s projects is making a dent on calls from scammers. Telstra has noted that it’s blocking around 13 million scam calls per month from hitting customers, meaning that if you subscribe to Telstra, there’s a good chance you’re less likely to get a call that attempts to fleece you out of your cash, or anything else for that matter.
It’s so large a number that Telstra claims its “Cleaner Pipes” project is blocking more calls than any other telco in Australia, with the number of calls twice the number that was being blocked a matter of months ago.
It comes amidst news that Australians have lost $25 million to scam calls so far this year, as scam numbers continue to grow and grow. We’re seeing numerous scams pop up, and phone calls are still one of the bigger ways that happens.
Telstra has said that its scam monitoring service isn’t just covering phone calls, however, also monitoring and blocking the wangiri scams that phone once and hope you call back through an international premium number, as well as the scams that spoof and fake other people’s phone numbers.
To do this, Telstra is reportedly working on ways to detect and subsequently block scam calls made using these techniques, developing algorithms to pick up on these calls and preventing them from going through its network.
However, it might not just be calls on Telstra that benefit from this technology.
Back when we checked in with Telstra about its initiative in February, the telco told Pickr that the scam protection service wasn’t just designed to work for Telstra customers, but for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that use the Telstra network, such as Belong, Boost, Mate, and Woolworths Mobile.
“The work we’re doing to target scam calls is part of our Cleaner Pipes initiative, where we are working to reduce the harm of phishing, malware, ransomware and other scams across our networks both online and through voice and SMS,” wrote Narelle Devine at the Telstra Exchange Blog, Chief Information Security Officer for the telco in the Asia Pacific.
“We recently rolled out a new capability to make SMS safer too, with the first impact being to block illegitimate messages pretending to be from Services Australia from reaching Telstra customers’ phones,” she said. “We are doing all of this to protect our customers and their livelihoods because we know that we can have a significant impact by taking proactive action at a network level.”