Neural Technologies’ SCAMBlock solution provides a powerful answer to the persistent and growing threat of spam and scam calls. Today, we sit down with Dr George Bolt, Head of Analytics and Product Manager for Optimus RP (Revenue Protection) and Optimus DI (Data Integration) at Neural Technologies, and explore how this solution works to protect communication service providers (CSPs) and their customers.
Q1: Why did Neural Technologies decide to develop a focused solution to tackle scam and spam calls?
Scam calls are a huge problem worldwide—they often result in financial loss to victims or stress and anxiety, particularly to elderly subscribers. Quite simply, they’re a nuisance to all subscribers, as receiving a call from an unknown number is now increasingly considered to be spam.
These scam calls are also damaging to CSPs, as they impact subscriber confidence. The fundamental objective of a voice call on mobile or fixed line is to communicate and be communicated with, and not to be subjected to what is at best poorly targeted marketing, and at worst an attempt at fraud.
Almost everyone, regardless of where you live, is subject to a barrage of such calls these days. Personally, I mostly ignore calls to my fixed-line here in the UK. Scam callers sometimes now even attempt to ‘personalize’ their scams by spoofing call line identifier (CLI) to a number that is more likely to be answered by the victim.
Neural Technologies engineered the SCAMBlock solution in response to requests by CSPs and customers for a respite from this spam. It offers an effective solution for scam calls, combining our proprietary SS7 stack with our existing Optimus Revenue Protection product suite.
Q2: How is SCAMBlock designed to help communication service providers (CSPs) and their customers?
In the simplest terms, SCAMBlock stops calls determined as scam from even reaching and disturbing a CSPs’ customers.
Suspect scam calls are highlighted to subscribers by adding a published prefix to the CLI which appears on their handset. In this case, customers can choose whether to answer or not, but with an important message that they should not necessarily trust the caller.
Calls deemed with a high probability of being scam calls are blocked, and thus don’t even make it to customers. This allows a CSP to regain the trust from their customers—and also places a barrier between scammers and their targets, reducing the risk of attack to CSPS and customers.
Q3: How does SCAMBlock solution leverage data to reduce nuisance calls?
Call data is subjected to a range of analysis techniques, including their point of origin, as well as the destination of the party being called. This includes checks against high-threat lists, aggregation of data collected over time, as well as the use of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) techniques that ‘learn’ to adapt and identify changing risk profiles.
Q4: Is SCAMBlock limited on the type of data or data source it can integrate with?
No. SCAMBlock can integrate with any source or data type.
This flexibility is inherent in Neural Technologies’ product configurability, and enables SCAMBlock to widen its effectiveness. It allows CSPs to customize the deployment of SCAMBlock as required, for example supporting pre-arranged marketing campaigns or other bespoke business needs.
Q5: What are the benefits that customers of SCAMBlock solution can expect to see?
The most obvious and important benefit is protection for subscribers against the risk of scam calls, thus reducing the threat of being defrauded. This also boosts confidence and satisfaction in the service provided by a CSP.
This protection against scam calls can act as a major market differentiator for a CSP, leading to improved customer retention and attraction, increasing the customer base, and ultimately improving revenue and bottom-line financial performance.
Q6: How does Neural Technologies work to support customers to maximise the benefit of implementing and utilizing the SCAMBlock solution?
We closely interact with both the network and customer teams involved in deploying SCAMBlock within the CSP’s infrastructure, and advise on communicating with customers to educate and position the benefits of scam call protection they are putting in place.
Neural Technologies also works closely with the CSP to ensure appropriate training on the solution, and enable knowledge transfer to the CSP. This can also allow the CSP to take full in-house control of the SCAMBlock solution if desired, allow them to continue to grow and enhance their deployment in line with their own business needs.
We are also available to support and provide on-going service to CSPs as needed to ensure they unlock the greatest possible value from SCAMBlock, and the full portfolio of advanced revenue protection and fraud management solutions from Neural Technologies.