EE Debuts New Security Updates to Improve Scam Detection

BT and EE

With criminals continuing to scam customers, EE is set to launch more advanced technology across its network to help keep customers safe and continue being the safest network in the UK. Through using AI technology and its security specialists, focus areas have been identified to address prevalent scams and those most likely to make it through existing defences.

This comes as EE announces plans for new technology updates to be rolled out across its network in the coming weeks and months. The new technology plans include:

EE and BT

Enhanced Call Protect – The AI technology will work to identify and clearly label nuisance and scam calls for EE mobile and BT Digital Voice customers, eliminating caller anonymity by verifying who is calling or labelling the call with a scam warning.

International SMS blocking – Dedicated blocking to root out messages where special characters are used to disguise scam detection such as €€ instead of EE. This also includes SMS from international numbers and non-UK short codes.

SMS blocking of trusted routes – Updates to existing AI technology to help detect the common ‘Hi Mum, Hi Dad’ scams. These are detected not only by reviewing the message itself, but also volumetric data on the number of messages sent from a certain number.

Following investments in its network security in recent years, 281 million spam texts have now been blocked through EE’s anti-spam filter, which proactively blocks spam text messages by analysing patterns of content as they reach EE’s network.

In addition, a further 105 million international scam calls have been blocked since 2022, with AI technology routing out scam calls from international locations posing to be from UK-based numbers for legitimacy. These numbers are often run by international scam networks for the purposes of fraudulently acquiring personal information, access to devices and, in some cases, bank details from the customer.

In addition, EE is also launching an intuitive new solution to customer ID checks known as Scan and Verify Yourself (SAVY) throughout its retail stores in the UK. This solution is provided by Onfido, a global identity verification provider. As part of its new look UK retail strategy which includes the new flagship EE Studio store in London and Experience stores throughout the UK, SAVY makes ID checks easier, using in-store tablets or a customer’s mobile in a simple step by step process with biometric verification. This means EE is able to safely and easily register new customers for accounts on their network and minimise numbers being provided to fraudulent scammers.

EE has been at the forefront of the fight against scammers having launched its text anti-spam filter in 2021 and international call blocking AI tech in 2022. The planned tech rollouts are a further example of EE’s commitment to protect its customers and provide the best customer service possible.

Jonny Bunt, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Consumer division of BT Group said: “The number of scams we’re managing to block on our network while impressive, is alarming at the same time. With the planned updates to our network technology, and through closely working with Ofcom, we’re helping take the fight to the scammers and target the most common tactics and trends to keep our customers safe.

“We’re now also calling on the wider industry to increase their investment in technology to help block scams from reaching consumers and ensure bad actors are no longer able to profit from innocent honest people answering a call from a trusted number or a believable looking message.”