Telecom news roundup

3 min read

The past couple of weeks have brought along some intriguing developments for the telco industry. There are new hurdles for operators and marketers to overcome, so it’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date. Don’t forget to take a look at our digest to make sure you’re in the loop!

SMS banking fraud is on the rise in the US

The US is experiencing a surge in SMS scams, creating a state of panic among subscribers, according to The Guardian. Smishing attacks are used by criminals to carry out banking fraud, resulting in the depletion of victims’ bank accounts in minutes. 

According to data from the US Federal Trade Commission, over 321,000 US citizens were victimized by smishing scams via phones in 2022, resulting in financial losses exceeding $326 million. This alarming trend has led to an urgent demand for increased protection from banks and government regulation. Senator Elizabeth Warren is advocating for better control by banks over electronic transfer systems like Zelle, while Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has proposed legislation to prohibit automated texting. 

This situation highlights a major issue: even when consumers take precautions against fraud, they can still fall victim if the perpetrator is sophisticated enough. Therefore, additional protective measures are a must.

Flash calling to cause a $1.3 billion loss for operators within 5 years

Operators could collectively lose up to $1.3 billion between 2023 and 2027 due to undetected flash calling, according to Juniper Research. Flash calling, which uses voice networks instead of SMS for verification, poses a threat to SMS business revenue. To mitigate these losses, operators are encouraged to implement voice firewall solutions that can distinguish flash calling traffic from regular voice calls.

Although it’s expected that 90% of flash traffic will go undetected in 2023, this figure may decrease to 45% by 2026 as detection services become more prevalent. Instead of blocking flash traffic, operators are advised to monetise it to prevent customer frustration and preserve the value of voice channels. Juniper Research predicts that by 2027, revenue from flash calling will reach $450 million for operators, exceeding losses from unidentified flash calling traffic.

Top robocall fraud tactics and how to handle them

Amidst the pandemic, scammers have been exploiting communication channels for their fraudulent activities, and robocalls have become one of their go-to tools, according to a recent blog by Juniper Research. While robocalls serve as a useful means of communication for sectors like healthcare and government, fraudsters are increasingly misusing them, with illegal and unwarranted calls tarnishing the service’s legitimacy.

Scammers employ robocalls for various tactics, including SIM swapping, vishing, unauthorised number reassignments, call forwarding, and caller ID spoofing. These tactics are designed to deceive and obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting end-users, thereby gaining access to their accounts.

To tackle this issue, Juniper Research recommends that operators verify callers, notify customers before reassigning numbers, and use the Reassigned Number Database to keep track of reassigned numbers. Additionally, US consumers can report unwanted calls to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has prohibited certain types of telemarketing calls and messages.

EU forms a ChatGPT task force

The formation of a task force for addressing concerns surrounding ChatGPT by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) demonstrates a strong commitment to enforce privacy regulation in AI, Mobile World Live reports. The task force aims to promote collaboration among national authorities and facilitate the sharing of information on any enforcement actions taken. 

The decision to create this task force comes in response to the ban of OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform by an Italian regulator for alleged violations of data rules. The regulator has issued a list of demands related to user privacy that must be met before the service can resume operations in the country. 

Furthermore, Spain’s data protection authority has requested that EDPB members convene to discuss potential privacy issues. These actions show a resolute effort to address concerns and maintain a secure and fair environment for users of ChatGPT.

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