In the shadow of global inflation and massive energy price hikes come costlier data breaches and more elaborate scams than ever before.

As we move into 2023, telecom fraud, in particular, shows no signs of slowing down…

Of course, scamming isn’t a new phenomenon. But more and more businesses now rely on telecommunications services and technology to operate remotely and meet modern demands. And we know what that means: an increased attack surface and risk.

Back in the day, it was a little easier to spot a scam. Typos in text messages, unrecognised numbers, blatantly automated voices. But these new-age attackers are smart, convincing unsuspecting users to pick up the phone and hand over their information and money in inventive ways…

Don’t take the bait!

 Cyber criminals are always looking for clever new ways to get people to answer their calls. And as scammers have learned that people are more likely to pick up if they recognise the number, they ‘spoof’ their caller ID to hide their identity or mimic the number of a real company or person.

Once they’ve got you on the line, scammers will fish for information, such as bank account details, using various phishing and social engineering techniques to make people fall hook, line and sinker for it.

Whereas phishing is a means of retrieval, spoofing is a means of delivery; both are bad news for businesses.

This kind of cyber fraud might look like a one-time ‘hit-and-run’ event, but there’s often far more to it than that. The data mining and piecing together of the victim’s information can take many months and thousands of attempts to gather the necessary details to carry out the attack successfully.

So, what are the categories used to identify the potentially suspicious characteristics of a call?

  • Significant entity: the caller will attempt to deceive the user into believing the call is coming from a known financial institution, government agency or other significant entity.
  • International spoof: this call will originate from overseas with a number presented as UK-based.
  • Mobile spoof: originating from a UK landline/trunk number, this caller will be presented as a mobile number.
  • Public phone box: a call that arrives from a known list of UK public phone box numbers — or so you think.
  • Simultaneous mobile: there are already two active calls in progress from the same mobile number.
  • Premium number: a call presenting a number from a UK premium rate number range (e.g., 09 ranges).
  • Unallocated number: this call arrives at the platform from a range OFCOM hasn’t yet allocated to a UK telecoms operator.
  • Known bad actor: the call arrives from a number that matches a list of known fraudulent numbers from a national database maintained by the Telecoms UK Fraud Forum.

Now you know some of the different characteristics of phone calls. But how do you know which calls are genuine and which ones are just fraudsters trying to trick you?

Calling for backup

 Human error is the main reason so many scam phone calls are successful. Let’s not point fingers just yet though.

Any business operating a telephone system (basically every business!) could be a target. So, education is the first and most crucial step in cyber fraud prevention. The security of vulnerable data is everyone’s problem, and every member of a business should be aware of the red flags.


That being said, telecom fraud is widespread, and these types of attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated — making it harder and harder to spot the typical characteristics of a fraudulent call.

Technology is a big help here, but any outdated or unconnected systems will be no match for today’s scam calls. Not ideal.

So, if they want to prevent this kind of cyber fraud in 2023, businesses must invest in automated solutions that can accurately detect and report phishing and scam callers — alleviating the pressure on staff and customers (not to mention saving a lot of time and money).

Solutions like Invosys Call Shield work to identify the tell-tale signs of a potentially fraudulent or scam phone call, alerting users to suspicious activity before criminals can obtain sensitive personal information or valuable business details.

How? You guessed it: machine learning and artificial intelligence — the key to stopping scam calls. Fraudsters are always adapting their methods to try and slip through the net. But so is AI, learning from every fraudulent call and generating algorithms to immediately pick up on any changes in fraud patterns and ensure criminals are blocked at every instance.

All in a day’s work…

 We’re on a mission to ensure nobody — not an individual or a business — gets caught out by fraudsters looking to steal valuable details. Keen to learn more about Call Shield? We thought so. Get in touch today at +44 (0)161 444 3333 to book a demo.