Virtual PBX Featured Article

Ofcom Urges Telecom Providers to Block Foreign Scammers

October 25, 2021

By Luke Bellos - Editor, Virtual PBX

The BBC recently released a report that stated the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications, or Ofcom, has officially requested that telecom service providers automatically halt internet calls disguised as UK numbers. This announcement comes after another BBC report from last week which claimed that nearly 45 million UK customers fell victim to scam callers.

Scam operations have evolved quite dramatically over the last few years. In the past, scammers and social engineers could simply make cold calls to exploit unsuspecting customers. However, increased public attention and unprecedented levels of cybercrime have forced business leaders and governments to intervene, causing criminals to develop new tricks to stay active. Scammers now have technology to disguise calls as legitimate numbers, making it more difficult to distinguish real calls from fake ones.

With this reality in mind, Ofcom officials have made it a priority to utilize VoIP technology, such as the STIR/SHAKEN procedures, to prevent bad actors from gaining traction.

"We've been working with telecoms companies to implement technical solutions, including blocking at source, suspicious international calls that are masked by a UK number," commented Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Networks and Communications Group Director."We expect these measures to be introduced as a priority, and at pace, to ensure customers are better protected."

Although many UK telecom leaders seem to be onboard with this new initiative, some experts are skeptical about the effectiveness of this plan, largely due to legacy infrastructure making it difficult to implement newer technology. However, the severe damage that these operations are causing is too much to ignore, and will only continue to evolve if swift measures are not taken immediately.

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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