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News | 12 Jan 2022

Vodafone hammers Christmas fraudsters with anti-scam safety tech

The total number of scam texts fell dramatically in December 2021, thanks to enhanced security measures including a new SMS firewall.

More people than ever shopped online over this Christmas period. In November 2020, one-in-three retail sales was made online, up from one-in-five the year before, according to the Office for National Statistics.

But devious fraudsters tried to exploit this boom, posing as everything from a missed parcel delivery service to a bank checking on recent transactions, trying to trick recipients into clicking a link or sharing personal information.

In response, Vodafone bolstered its anti-fraud defences in 2021, including a new SMS firewall. As a result the company has reported “a sustained decrease in overall reported fraudulent text messages” during the busiest shopping period of the year.

Daily average volumes of scam texts fell by an impressive 76% in December compared to May, with over 45 million phishing messages blocked since the end of August 2021.

Vodafone’s SMS firewall works by assessing the sender and intended recipient of a text, as well as a number of other details, to identify and block fraudulent messages in real-time.

Vodafone has also made it even easier for Android users to use its ‘7726’ service to report suspicious texts. Available to all customers free of charge, the service lets users share suspicious texts with Vodafone by forwarding them to the number 7726 for investigation. Android owners can report suspicious texts in Google’s Messages app simply by tapping a button.

Ross Doherty, UK Senior Fraud Manager at Vodafone said: “We can all fall for a fraudulent message, which is why we continue to work really hard to beat the scams and prevent them from getting through.

“The December figures are really encouraging, but fraudsters continue to find new ways to attempt to scam customers into sharing personal and financial information. So, we continue to ask our customers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious text activity to us at 7726.

“This will help ensure we continue to keep one step ahead of the scams.”

To learn more about staying safe from online fraudsters, visit the Vodafone UK website.

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