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Telstra Trials Tech To Squash Scam Callers For Good

Telstra is experimenting with a world-first software which will stop scam callers from reaching Australian victims.

The technology, which was developed in-house at Telstra, will block calls on a network level before a customer’s phone even rings.

If the trial is successful, it could prevent Australians from losing millions of dollars to scammers. In 2020 alone, Australians lost more than $48.2 million from scam callers.

The calls which would be intercepted include fake pre-recorded messages from the tax department, fraudulent NBN customer service calls and calls from so-called tech support from various companies including Microsoft and Amazon.

Telstra chief information security officer Narelle Devine said the company developed the scam-blocking technology as part of its Cleaner Pipes initiative which filters text message scams and blocks scam websites.

The software looks for behaviours which are typical of scammers before blocking them from the network.

“We’re now blocking around 1.5 million suspected scam calls a week on average, or 6.5 million scam calls a month from reaching our customers,” Devine told News Corp.

“On an active day for the scammers, we can see anything from up to half a million of those calls a day being blocked which is a huge leap for us.”

The technology has been in development since 2019 but is now testing it across more of its network in Australia.

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